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In the Scarlet Letter, should Dimmesdale have admitted that he was Pearls father seven years ago? And if Dimmesdale was to live his life again would he live it differently?

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Rushabh K Kamdar ESSAY In the story 'The Scarlet Letter' by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester is is able to live with the scarlet letter more or less. But Dimmesdale, Hester's partner adulterer, doesn't have the courage to reveal his sin and due to this he isn't able to cope up with his guilt. As Dimmesdale doesn't admit his sin, he faces many troubles both internally and externally. He suffers for seven whole years for the sin he commits with Hester and doesn't live a life worth calling. And so Dimmesdale should have admitted that he was Pearl's father seven years ago. Since the moment Hester is punished for her sin, Dimmesdale gets weaker day by day. Though nothing is described about Dimmesdale's past, it is assumed that he was a young, handsome and a very intelligent man. But after committing the sin, he becomes very weak and looks old and his health drastically worsens. Dimmesdale becomes both physically and mentally weak. All this pain is caused due to self-condemnation. ?He was pale and he held his hand over his heart? shows how much pain he felt on his chest and he was always seen in this posture after Hester was released from the jail. ...read more.


Chillingworth had promised Hester that he would find Pearl's father and he was successful in doing so. Seeing Dimmesdale's condition, Chillingworth knew that he was hiding something which made him suspect and stick around Arthur. ?There was no place so secret, high or low, where you could have escaped me-- except on this very platform!? shows how much he had and wanted to torture Dimmesdale. This also hints Roger was jealous of him as Hester loved him and not Roger and so wanted to take a revenge. And he was successful in secretly torturing Dimmesdale and taking his revenge. Dimmesdale was a Puritan priest of high ranking. He wasn't supposed to indulge in such activities and speak the truth. His increasing guilt made him convey better and better sermons due to which his congregation loved him more and more. This drew Dimmesdale to further internalize his guilt and persecute himself which led to more deterioration of his health. His unconfessed sin eventually leads to his own demise. These all were some of the major deadly effects of him not revealing the truth. ...read more.


The letter 'A' which is revealed at the end of the story was a stigma, a punishment by God which also wouldn't be the outcome if he had admitted the truth. But according to Dimmesdale, due to the stigma and the penance he suffered, he had the chances of going to Heaven while Hester who was just punished by men had no chances of going to Heaven; the line: ?He has shown His mercy, above all, in my trials. He gave me this burning torture to bear on my breast? suggests this. But overall he had to face loads of difficulties in his life and if he had admitted his sin long back, he wouldn't have to face such penance and would have been a happy man. If Dimmesdale was to live his life again, either he wouldn't have indulged in sex with Hester or he would have left New England along with Hester and Pearl and gone to Old England and begin a new and happier life there. I do not think that Dimmesdale would have supported Hester and revealed himself as the partner sinner along with Hester as he had always been faint-hearted person and so would never have the courage to do so. ...read more.

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