Revised SL ICW | The Scarlet Letter | Religion And Belief

Kevin McKeever English 11, Section 2 Mrs.

deLuca 10/21/11 The Scarlet Letter ICW In the story, The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, one single sin affects a whole group of people in a very negative way. This sin is the act of adultery committed by Hester Prynne and a reverend named Arthur Dimmesdale. This act produces not just a physical result in the form of a child named Pearl, but it also takes emotional, and then physical tolls on the people involved. The character that suffers the most pain physically is Dimmesdale. Dimmesdale is forced into great sickness because of the guilt that he continues to hold inside himself, yet he still refuses to admit his sin. Arthur Dimmesdale is a very spiritual person, and he “was considered by his more feverent admires as little less that a heaven-ordained apostle, destined, … to do as great deeds for the now feeble New England church, as the early Fathers had achieved for the infancy of the Christian faith”. This spirituality served him greatly in his career, but when he committed a sin that he knew was breaking one of the founding principles of the faith he loves so much, he falls ill with guilt. For Dimmesdale “it would always be essential to his peace to feel the pressure of a faith about him,” but this peace it put under the most tremendous pressure while he continues to hide his relations with Hester. This massive pressure caused by guilt starts to crush him and weaken him, possibly to a point of death. Dimmesdale is not fully aware of the true nature of his great sickness, although he does feel the pain of his guilt. Dimmesdale’s acting doctor, and former husband of Hester, Roger

Hester inquires to Chillingworth. And that is exactly what is happening to Dimmesdale. and henceforth. Chillingworth would be the one to steal his soul. Arthur Dimmesdale's refusal to admit to his relationship with Hester Prynne is the reason for his great sickness. Dimmesdale is willing to allow guilt to consume him rather than face the punishment that the town would give him. is to take the man’s life. metaphorically. and other events. The way in which the author Hawthorne describes the punishments that Hester received when she was proven guilty are a way that he shows that in this society early American society. “’Hath thou enticed he into a bond that will prove the ruin of my soul?’” in which Chillingworth responds. indeed. It looks like the only way that Dimmesdale would recover would be if he would admit to his sin. woman were not treated that poorly. but if he does this. as opposed just to his guilt. “had his suspicions. starts to make Chillingworth more suspicious of Dimmesdale’s relationship the Hester. His soul is being sucked out of him and controlled by his guilt. Dimmesdale’s bodily disease had never fairly been revealed to him. At the end of chapter four. . which we know is Dimmesdale. and soon Chillingworth will discover this and take full advantage of it. his actions. by controlling both his emotions. not thine!’” Chillingworth is saying that he will carry out revenge on the adulterer by ruining his soul. This may say that Hawthorne has a very respectful and appreciatory view of women. with another smile. that even the nature of Mr. Chillingworth inches closer and closer to discovering the truth about Hester and Dimmesdale.” This. Chillingworth’s main objective in seeking revenge on Hester’s lover. as his guilt continues to eat away at him. This suggests that the punishment he would receive would be very harsh. “’Not thy soul’ he answered. Because of his physically ailing. much more so than that in which Hester received. “No. and the fact that he does not know the nature of it.Chillingworth.

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