The Greatest Sufferer In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

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The Greatest Sufferer in The Scarlet Letter The Scarlet Letter is a novel written by the romantic author Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1850. The novel is a fictional recount of the goings on in a Puritan society in Boston, and the story of a woman and the suffering she endures. Though she is portrayed as the greatest sufferer, the letter causes Dimmsdale, her illicit lover, more harm than it does to her; this ultimately shows how secrecy can bring no good. Even still, this novel is more than just a fantastic narrative of a family’s twisted story. Hawthorne also brings into view so much controversy about the Puritan society as a whole and the way of humans in general. He shows the suffering endured by everyone as a result of one inerasable sin. Bottom…show more content…
The young pastor suffers endlessly throughout the book. In contrast to the strong willed Hester, Dimmsdale is seen as quite cowardly. He shies away from the letter. This demonstrates that he doesn’t like to show himself for who he is. Since he is more weak spirited than Hester, as shown in “His spirit lacked the strength that could have borne up, as thine has been, beneath a burden like thy scarlet letter," (ch.14) The letters weight affects him more. The man suffers physically more than any other character in the novel. He fasts vigorously until he grows so weak he almost cannot stand, “It was his custom, too, as it has been that of many other pious Puritans, to fast, - not, however, like them...but rigorously, and until his knees trembled beneath him, as an act of penance”. (ch. 11) He would even whip himself at night, “bloody scourge… plied on his own shoulders.” to punish himself for the sin he committed. Now, Hester didn’t beat herself up for her sin. Her spirit was stronger; she bore the penalty with more dignity and it even helped her. Dimmsdales prolonged suffering further highlights how he was the ultimate
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