SL Paper

Topics: Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne Pages: 2 (848 words) Published: January 20, 2014
Imagine living in a Puritan society where everyone loves God, almost to the point of obsession, and will judge a person on anything they think defies his will. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is about a women in a puritan society who committed the crime of adultery and has to wear a scarlet A on her chest to cause public shame. At the end of the book it is revealed that Arthur Dimmesdale was her companion in this affair. Dimmesdale is a very complex character who changes many times throughout the novel. To begin with, Dimmesdale was a coward for the first part of The Scarlet Letter. Instead of just confessing his share of the sin to the public he chose to remain silent and let Hester take all of the blame. He should have just confessed right away and it probably would have saved him a lot of trouble later on in the book. Even without an immediate confession, he was given many other opportunities to speak up. He could have easily admitted his sin the day Hester was forced to stand on the scaffold. One of the bystanders in the crowd said “The Reverend Master Dimmesdale, her godly pastor, takes it very grievously to heart that such a scandal should have come upon his congregation” (48). This is a very hypocritical and cowardice thing to feel considering that Dimmesdale is the one who had the affair with Hester. Another time his cowardice shows is when Pearl asks him “Wilt thou stand her with Mother and me, tomorrow noontide?” (140) and Dimmesdale replies “Nay, not so, my little Pearl” (140). Once again, his cowardice holds him back from revealing the truth. This is very much like society today where people are scared to tell the truth and would rather sit back and let others take the fall for what they also had a part in. For example, if a group of people decide to rob a bank and one of the robbers gets arrested, in most cases the other criminals aren’t going to come clean, they are just going to let him take the blame. Next, Dimmesdale changed into...
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