The Scarlet Letter: An Analysis Of The Characters



Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, provides us with
intricate characters to analyze and evaluate. Hawthorne carefully
constructs his characters, giving them each different emotions, values,
physical attributes, and thus creating different souls. One sees character
development throughout the book, until at the end, one is left with an
image of a seemingly "real" person. One of Hawthorne's carefully
constructed characters is, Arthur Dimmesdale. With Arthur, one sees how
sin changes him dramatically, causing in him moral conflicts. Dimmesdale
is continually trying to see who he is.
In the beginning of Hawthorne's novel, we are introduced to Hester
Prynne, who has been condemned ...

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his identity, and he becomes, Roger
Chillingworth. Hester agrees to keep his secret. The novel takes us
through the seven years that Hester keeps quiet. A reader of the novel
finds out early that Arthur Dimmesdale is the man Hester is trying to
protect.
One notices, that even in the beginning, there is deep inner
conflict affecting Dimmesdale. On the scaffold stands his parishioner, and
his lover, Hester. She is publicly paying for her sin of adultery, and
although she has the opportunity, she does not reveal Dimmesdale to the
public. Dimmesdale is lost. He wants to confess, but he is scared. He is
a clergyman. How would the public view him? Would they look at his sin,
and be disgusted? Or, would they look at his sin, and find him stronger
for confessing? Dimmesdale, does not know. Thus, he chooses not to tell
what he did. It is this choice, which brings about his downfall. From
this point on, we see Dimmesdale become weaker and more dependant.
Chillingworth, ...

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Hester speak with each other in the forest. This is when she reveals
Chillingworth's identity. Dimmesdale gets angry with Hester, but soon sees
that she is not at fault. He realizes that Chillingworth, has been
deliberately torturing him. He is afraid. Hester suggests that they leave
the town. Dimmesdale is skeptical at first, but eventually agrees.
Dimmesdale starts to change at this point of the novel. He is
still weak and close to dying. The guilt he feels is still eminent after
all these years. Trying to make up for not confessing, he starts punishing
himself. Fasting, self-mutilation, and beatings are some of the ways he
tries to make up for his sin. One realizes ...

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Added: 12/17/2008 04:19:33 AM
Category: Book Reports
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1504
Pages: 6

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