The Scarlet Letter: Dimmersdale Is A Coward And A Hypocrite



"But (Hester) is not the protagonist; the chief actor, and the tragedy of
The Scarlet Letter is not her tragedy, but Dimmesdales. He it was whom the
sorrows of death encompassed_.. His public confession is one of the noblest
climaxes of tragic literature."
This statement by Randall Stewart does not contain the same ideas that I
believed were contained within The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
I, on the contrary to Stewart's statement, think Dimmesdale is a coward and
a hypocrite. Worse, he is a self-confessed coward and hypocrite. He
knows what he has to do to still the voice of his conscience and make his
peace with God. Throughout the entire story his confession remains ...

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the
society treats sexuality with ill grace. But his problem is enormously
complicated by the fact of Hester's marriage (for him no technicality), and
by his own image of himself as a cleric devoted to higher things. Unlike
other young men, Dimmesdale cannot accept his loss of innocence and go on
from there. He must struggle futilely to get back to where he was. Torn
between the desire to confess and atone the cowardice which holds him back,
Dimmesdale goes slightly mad. He takes up some morbid forms of penance_
fasts and scourgings_but he can neither whip nor starve the sin from his
soul. In his agony, he staggers to the pulpit to confess, but his words
come out generalized, and meaningless declarations of guilt.

The reverend seems to want to reveal himself, but Chillingworth's influence
and his own shame are stronger than his weak conscience. Dimmesdale cannot
surrender an identity which brings him the love and admiration of his
parishioners. He is far too intent on his ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 2/8/2004 08:35:29 PM
Category: Book Reports
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1215
Pages: 5

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