Who Is The Reverend Dimmesdale Symbolize In The Scarlet Letter

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As stated by Sós, an independent and freelance scholar, “The true Puritan New England only existed from 1630 to 1686, showing how insufficient the system truly was.” The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is a novel dedicated to criticizing Puritan life. Hester Prynne, an accused adulterer, is forced to live with the scarlet letter ‘A’ on her chest. She must raise her child, Pearl, alone. Her husband Chillingworth, who was presumed dead at sea, miraculously reached the New World only to hear of Hester’s sin. Dimmesdale, Hester’s lover, is the reverend of the town. He is plagued with guilt and punishes himself for his sin. All of the characters exhibit some characteristics that go against Puritan teachings. Hester is separated from the…show more content…
Dimmesdale tries to convince Hester to tell the townspeople that he is the father; he would rather have Hester tell the world his sin than tell the world himself. Dimmesdale is a cowardice character that has a difficult time confessing his wrong doings to the people mostly because he has such a high reputation. Hawthorne explains that ministers are not supposed to be superior to others and in no manner are they more important or braver than those around them. During this era, Puritans saw ministers as almost a godly and pure figure in the community and Dimmesdale helps the reader understand that their perceptions of him are fallacious. Hawthorne explains that all people are equal and “he had made the manner of [Dimmesdale’s] death a parable, in order to impress on his admirers the mighty and mournful lesson that, in the view of Infinite Purity, we are sinners all alike” (Hawthorne 254). The author emphasizes that no matter how holy someone seems and how righteous they may be does not ensure their purity. Everyone is a sinner. This statement contradicts the Puritan belief that the ministers and religious leaders are perfect and unable to commit sin. They are not infallible. Dimmesdale was supposed to be a perfect being who never sins, but the act of his sin criticizes the Puritan belief that ministers are pure and it critiques the Puritan’s definition of a
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