Throughout the novel, The Scarlett letter, the theme that “the punishment imposed on us by others may not be as destructive as the guilt we impose on ourselves” is shown a lot through some characters, especially Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. As the book goes along, we find out that Reverend Dimmesdale is Hester’s lover. Although the town people are not aware of this, the guilt he has inside him is much bigger than any punishment and so he begins to torture himself physically. As the story commences, we are acknowledgeable of Hester’s sin, but we are left with the suspense of who her lover is. The story plot continues and so does the information. First, we are introduced to two of the main characters in the story, Roger Chillingworth and Reverend Dimmesdale. We then find out that Chillingworth is Hester’s husband, who has returned to be with her after many years. However, he found with the news that she has committed adultery and is on the search to find who she committed this sin with. On the other hand, Reverend Dimmesdale is later revealed as Hester’s lover. The author does not directly tell us why Dimmesdale does not reveal to the town that he, as well as Hester, has committed sin but he does give us clues and hints on why he hasn’t come clean. Also, he lets us in on what he thinks and on what is happening inside his mind.
On chapter eleven, we see Dimmesdale suffering; this however, does inspire him to deliver some of his most powerful sermons, which focuses on the topic of sin. His struggles allow him to empathize with human weakness and he thus addresses “the whole human brotherhood in the heart’s native language.” Although the reverend deeply yearns to confess the truth of his sin to his parishioners, he cannot bring himself to do so. As a result, his self-probing keeps him up at night and he even sees visions. In one vision, he sees Hester and “little Pearl in her scarlet garb.” Hester points “her forefinger, first at the scarlet letter on her...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document