Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Free Essay on Nathaniel Hawthornes Scarlet Letter - Three Scaffold Scenes :: Scarlet Letter essays
Three Scaffold scenes - Progression of Dimmesdale  In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne portrays Arthur Dimmesdale as a troubled individual. In him lies the central conflict of the book. Dimmesdales soul is torn betwixt two opposing forces his heart, his love for freedom and his passion for Hester Prynne, and his head, his knowledge of Puritanism and its defensive structure of fleshly love. He has committed the sin of adultery but cannot strain divine forgiveness, believing as the Puritans did that sinners received no grace. His dilemma, his struggle to superintend with sin, manifests itself in the three scaffold scenes depicted in The Scarlet Letter. These scenes chance variable a progression through which Dimmesdale at first denies, then accepts reluctantly, and last conquers his sin.   During Hester Prynnes three-hour ignominy, Dimmesdale openly denies his sin. Hawthorne introduces Dimmesdale as a being who felt himself quite astray and at a loss in the path way of human innovation (64). The author made it obvious that a grim secret lies mystic in the depths of Dimmesdales soul. This secret, however, does not reveal itself immediately, since Dimmesdale hides it from the closely watching town. In addition, he magnifies his own denial of his sin when he charges Hester to speak out the learn of thy fellow-sinner and fellow-sufferer(65). By deliberately speaking to Hester as if the sinner were not himself, the rector makes sure that nobody suspects him. One may also interpret Dimmesdales manner of speaking as a hint to Hester not to name him. He feels he must add hypocrisy to sin in order to economise his standing in the town. He thinks that if the town finds out about his sin, they exit never forgive him, much like his belief system tells him that graven image will never forgive him. So great is his relief when he finds that she will not speak that he stands in awe of the marvelously potency and generosity of a womans heart(66). Despite an inward bid for his sin to be discovered, Dimmesdale feels better knowing that Hester will not willingly expose him. In this scene in front of the town, Dimmesdale shows his original strength of character, which will diminish along the course of the book.   In the middle of the night, septet years after Hesters punishment, Dimmesdale holds a vigil on the scaffold where he finally accepts his sin. The battle within Dimmesdale between Remorse, which dogged him everywhere and Cowardice, which eer drew him back(144) leads to a temporary compromise in his midnight vigil.