As time goes by and Dimmesdale becomes more frail under the constant torture of Chillingworth, the community worries that their minister is losing a battle with the devil himself. In chapter 24 all his. Keep a journal as if you were one of the main characters. Over the seven years of her punishment, Hester's inner struggle changes from a victim of Puritan branding to a decisive woman in tune with human nature. Discussed below in brief are some of the symbols used in The Scarlet Letter, their meanings, and before that, a detailed analysis of the characters. It may also be a representation of how sometimes good people also goof up and do things that are not moral - in this story, it is Hester's extramarital affair with Arthur Dimmesdale. What were the outcomes of these events? Hester wants him to stop but he does not care.
She is shunned by her town and forced to wear a scarlet A on her chest as a symbol of her shameful sin. Predominant colors are black and gray, and the gloom of the community is omnipresent. Hester learns that Chillingworth is seeking to destroy Dimmesdale, and she decides that her marriage was never sanctified in the first place, for her husband has the seething rage of the devil himself. The Scarlet Letter Plot Summary In case you are unfamiliar with the novel, it is the story of Hester Prynne, a young Puritan woman who is sent to America ahead of her husband. She pesters not only Hester, but Dimmesdale, whom she recognizes as being guilty of the same crime as her mother.
While Hester is publicly shamed for the adultery, Dimmesdale must suffer the ignominy quietly since no one knows of his culpability. In his first appearance in the novel, he is compared to a snake, an obvious allusion to the Garden of Eden. He is much older than she is and had sent her to America while he settled his affairs in Europe. There is pure evil in his intentions, and he is a man set out to avenge himself. Pearl was too young to fully understand what was happening and was confined and controlled by society and her mother, and therefore, did not have the most freedom. This may be a symbol of the evil or bad in society, that good and bad are present together.
The meeting immediately leads to the two men moving in together. Thus, using his characters as symbols, Hawthorne discloses the grim underside of Puritanism that lurks beneath the public piety. Darkness is always associated with Chillingworth. She tries to protect Pearl from knowing the true meaning of the scarlet letter. Therefore, his sin becomes even larger than hers, because while hers is an exposed sin. Fraught with astute symbolism, it takes more than one read to really do justice to the essence of the story.
Hester is passionate but also strong—she endures years of shame and scorn. Dimmesdale already knows of his own guilt and susceptibility to sin. Dimmesdale is the true father of Pearl, goes on a subtle campaign to hurt the minister as much as possible. Hester is a Fallen Woman with a symbol of her guilt. During those long seven years he made no move to lessen her load or his own. While she waits for her husband to arrive, Hester has an affair with the Puritan minister of her community, Arthur Dimmesdale.
She equals both her husband and her lover in her intelligence and thoughtfulness. Employed as the village seamstress, she is strong and caring, helping anyone she can when he or she are in need. To her mother, she is a constant reminder of her sin, a very obvious reminder. They see Dimmesdale as a figure of public approval, Chillingworth, at least initially, as a man of learning to be revered, and Hester as the outcast. The feelings of the lovers, weighed down by guilt, are reflected in the darkness of nature. He curses himself for his silence and cowardice. Throughout the entire novel, Hester remains very much in love with Pearl and Dimmesdale.
Explain why you respond as you do. His sole purpose in life becomes revenge. The townspeople regard it as an object of scorn. She also loves and respects Dimmesdale, and when given the choice to turn him in, she refuses to speak. Arthur Dimmesdale was suffering from illness caused by the internal burden of guilt that he had felt, so he was not the most free character.
There are many different types of sin. This post is part of the series: The Scarlet Letter Study Guide. His demise was from the drain of his will which was worn and lacking. He is incredibly full of joy and wonderment after having felt Dimmesdale's heart. When Hester dies much later, she is buried next to her lover, Arthur Dimmesdale, finally united in death. His moral weakness manifests itself through physical illness. Other dark colors like black and gray symbolize dullness, gloom, and the Puritan way of living.