Books and Movies Reviews

The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter

During the novel,'The Scarlet Letter', three characters, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, Mistress Hester Prynne, and Roger Chillingworth, of 17th century Puritan Massachusetts were tortured by moral conflicts dwelling within each one. The story begins as Hester Prynne is standing on the scaffold in the town. In her arms is her child, Pearl, and on her chest is an embroidered letter, "A". While Hester's husband was supposedly out at sea, Hester had an affair with Dimmesdale and then gave birth to the baby girl. For three hours, Hester stands on this scaffold as the townspeople gathered around to gossip and stare at her. In the disorder of faces in the crowd, Hester sees the face of a man she was fiercely familiar with, whom we later learn is her true husband, Roger Chillingworth. As the story unfolds, all three characters were tortured whether internally or externally.
Arthur Dimmesdale was a very established, respected man who was greatly looked up to. People described him as a " 'God fearing' gentleman, but merciful overmuch" (p.49). What they didn't know was how hypocritical he actually was. Even though Hester bared his child, his outward demeanor deceived the villagers, and he appeared as a holy man. The guilty Dimmesdale preached the best sermons of his life. His morality was strengthened because the people connected with the large amount of guilt that could be heard in his voice. Unfortunately his cowardly outlook on his sins caused his troubles to snowball. Dimmesdale augmented his problems by abandoning Hester and their child, Pearl, emotionally and physically, forcing Hester to find work. Dimmesdale experienced increased torment due to guilt and inflicted torment on himself including long periods of fasting and hours of staring at himself in the mirror. He could be caught numerous times in his closet whipping himself, burning the letter A on his chest, and …

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