Scarlet Letter Essay

803 WordsSep 22, 20144 Pages
Societies’ perception of a person can be very subjective. In the novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, a woman named Hester Prynne has a baby out of wedlock with the minister of the town, Arthur Dimmesdale. Dimmesdale feels a tremendous amount of sorrow and guilt in his soul for not publically repenting his sin as Hester Prynne was forced to do. When Dimmesdale does decide to repent, the townspeople choose to turn a blind eye to what happened even though they witnessed it with their own eyes. Hawthorne creates the characters Dimmesdale and the townspeople to show how society only believes something about a person that isn't the whole truth because they want to make that person seem like a good person, even when they find out he’s not. Dimmesdale has these feelings of guilt or as Hawthorne refers to it as “black trouble of the soul” ,but he still managed to “achieve a brilliant popularity in his sacred office” (167).The reason for this, the narrator says, is because “he won it... by his sorrows”(167). His sorrows are then described as being “intellectual gifts, moral perceptions, power of experiencing and communicating emotion” that were then “kept in a state of preternatural activity by the prick and anguish of his daily life” (167). By Hawthorne saying that he won this popularity from the town because of his “intellectual gifts...” received from the anguish in his day to day life it emphasises to me as a reader that the townspeople didn’t give much thought as to why Dimmesdale was producing such amazing sermons, just that he was. This shows that society tends to turn a blind eye to the truth and doesn’t care if the person they look up to is a person who is bad, as long as they are giving off a good image to the society. In the end of The Scarlet Letter, Reverend Dimmesdale publicly confesses his sin and reveals his own “A” that is carved upon

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