Scarlet Letter – Character Sketch on Dimmesdale: I find Arthur
Dimmesdale to be the most interesting character in The Scarlet Letter. He is a
priest, he is a holy figure, yet he is hiding a sin from everyone, and it is
eating him up inside.
Scarlet Letter – Character Sketch on Dimmesdale
I find Arthur Dimmesdale to be the most interesting character in The Scarlet
Letter. He is a priest, he is a holy figure, yet he is hiding a sin from
everyone, and it is eating him up inside. He also preaches about how it is bad.
Hester’s husband, Chillingworth is also hurting him by always being there and
trying to pick into Mr. Dimmesdale heart and find out the secret, which he
already knows. He is just doing it as revenge to Mr. Dimmesdale and Hester.
Pearl keeps on mentioning that Dimmesdale keeps holding his hand over his
heart. When Hester asks Pearl if she knows why her mother wears the
“A”, Pearl says, “For the same reason the minister holds his hand
over his heart.” Roger Chillingworth, Hester’s husband, says that he is
there to help heal Reverend Dimmesdale, which in fact he really isn’t. He says
that some men hide their secrets, and if he told him what his secrets were then
his illness would be cured. Mr. Dimmesdale then says that he will tell no man of
his sin and that Roger should not get between God and himself.
Mr. Dimmesdale is also a coward. When Pearl, Hester, and Arthur are alone
together and it is time to leave, Pearl asks him if he would stand up on the
scaffold with them the next day, and later, she asks if he will go hand and hand
with them out of the forest, and he replies that only on judgment day they will
go hand in hand together. He is so afraid that if anyone finds out about his
sin, he will be destroyed because he is a “holy” man. If anyone found
out, then they would look down on him and he would be shunned like Hester. When
the three of them were on the scaffold together and he told God of his sin, he
felt better the next day because he got the sin off his chest, but not the
letter though, even though he didn’t tell anyone.
Hester, Pearl, and Dimmesdale decide to move to another country and start a
new life. This is Dimmesdale way of avoiding and getting away from his sin. On
the last day of his life, the day before they are to leave, Dimmesdale is to
walk in a parade and then give an election sermon. He knows that his health is
fading, so he writes the best sermon of his life. While walking in the parade,
Arthur looks like he is a new man and that it is the best day in his life. After
saying the shocking sermon, the thin thread that held him up for so long finally
broke. While everyone was amazed at his sermon, he calls out to Hester and Pearl
and has them come up on the scaffold with him. On the scaffold, he tells
everyone of his sin and shows everyone his scarlet letter that was embedded in
his chest. After having confessed his sin and finally got it off his chest, he
can die a free man. On spot he collapses into Hester’s arms he says “Isn’t
this better than what we planned in the forest? After that, he takes one last
breath and dies. The people that witnessed Mr. Dimmesdale confession were
shocked and stunned. He had a great impact on the crowd as many people realized
that everyone sins, even a “holy” minister.
I believe that Mr. Dimmesdale was a coward and that from his hiding from his
sin, behind his holiness, made his body weak. The cause of his death was not
from just the fact that his body was becoming weaker, it was mostly from the
pain of his secret. I think that he is very ignorant also because he let the
guilt and secret, instead of becoming a strong man and admitting to his wrong
doings and go after his love, Hester. He caused the pain on himself.