Character Analysis of Arthur DimmesdaleThe Scarlet Letter is a story of characters that have to live and deal with theeffects of sin in different ways. Of these characters, the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale isthe character portrayed as the most weak and unnoble. Despite this portrayalDimmesdale was a stronger character than given credit for. His unbelievable amount ofcontrol in his way of handling his burdens displays his great sense of strength andintellect.
We first see Dimmesdale portrayed as a nervous and sensitive individual. Despitehis outer appearance, inside Dimmesdale is a very stable, strong person. Chapter Threestates that he showed, nervous sensibility and a vast power of self restraint. While thisseems to give Dimmesdale great strength, it is also his largest flaw.
His body refuses todo what his heart says is right. Dimmesdale instructs Hester to reveal the truth, but whenshe refuses he doesnt have the willpower to confess himself. Therefore, his sin becomeseven larger than hers, because while hers is an exposed sin.
He continues to lie tohimself and his followers by keeping his secret hidden, so his is a concealed sin. HereHawthorne shows us just how strong Dimmesdale actually is, by allowing him to hide hissin and bear the weight of it, he creates an extremely interesting and tremendously strongcharacter.The scaffold is the place that Dimmesdale shows the amount of pain andself-loathing he is truly capable of concealing.
He realizes that he is as much at fault forHesters torment as any common villager, if not even more so. Seven years prior, Hesterstood in this place and took the punishment for both of them while he quietly stood asideand led people to believe that he also condemned her. During those long seven years hemade no move to lessen her load or his own.
Now Dimmesdale has had all that he canbear and lets out a yell that draws the attention of fellow villagers. He curses himself forhis silence and cowardice.On the scaffold in the chapter 23 the true sign of strength ids revealed. To admithe is wrong takes strength, but the way that he held in his sin thus committing two, one ofthe original sin, and two of the concealment, then confessing after years of frustratingcowardice takes a stronger man. This confession also in front of his loyal followers, whohad stood by him without a clue of his guilt. His demise was from the drain of his willwhich was worn and lacking.
Dimmesdale was not courageous in his actions in the story but strong. He wasable to carry the burdens, frustration , and pain throughout his life. Whether he wasgood, brave, or right in what he did is to remain unseen but the fact that he was strong iscertain.————————————————————–