Dimmesdale In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

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As most look back on childhood, they can recall hundreds upon thousands of memories with their father. Pearl on the other hand, looks back at an empty box of memories, not even knowing who those memories would be with. Not only was Dimmesdale absent from Pearl’s childhood, but he also stood as a bystander, watching Pearl and her mother, Hester, go through pain that he had caused. Although Chillingworth and Hester both led sinful lives throughout the novel, Dimmesdale is the greatest sinner because of how he hid from his sin like a coward, preached hypocritical sermons to his followers, and confessed to the town for all the wrong reasons, leaving Hester and Pearl to suffer alone. Standing on the balcony “among the (other) dignified (and esteemed) occupants” (page 62) of the Puritan church, Dimmesdale hides behind his peers’ reputations as honorable and pure Reverends. He simply watches as Hester and his baby Pearl, are ridiculed ruthlessly by the people of the town, as if he had not just…show more content…
When finally he is left with nothing he turns “toward the scaffold, and stretched forth his arms” (page 224) to pull his sickly body to the platform. Hester and Pearl join him and he pours open his sin to the town, but not for the benefit of Pearl and Hester, but for his own personal relief. “He (then) tore away the ministerial band from before his breast.” (page 228) to reveal what was thought to be a red marking that represented the sin he had carried for so long. His selfishness and cowardly behavior caused his physical and mental health to rot him away into someone who was barely a man. His confession was not to support Hester or even his own daughter, but instead it was for his own relief. If he was the man of honor that he was thought to be by many of his parishioners, his confession would have come before Hester could step on the
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