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Suffering From Guilt Who Suffers More From Guilt In The Book "The Scarlet Letter"

999 words - 4 pages

Dealing with guilt might be the most difficult thing a person has to do sometimes and the way they deal with it might either make them a stronger and better person or destroy them. In the book the scarlet letter we see how a group of people are affected by a sin, which is adultery and how the sinners deal with the guilt. The way they deal with it also defines how much they suffer from this sin and Hester and Dimmsdale both deal with guilt in two completely different ways.Everyone knew Hester was a sinner because she always had to wear the scarlet letter on her chest. She accepted the consequences of her actions and forgave herself for what she did. She also wore the scarlet letter almost proudly and didn't let what people think get to her as much. Because of what she did she was isolated from other people but she learned how to live in solitude with her daughter and that made her a stronger and better person. That is clearly stated by Hawthorne in this paragraph,"She had wandered, without rule or guidance, into a moral wilderness. Her intellect and heart had their home, as it were, in desert places, where she roamed as freely as the wild Indian in his woods. The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers - stern and wild ones - and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss."(S.L p. 183)Reverend Mr. Dimmsdale was the other sinner but the world didn't know about him. He chose not to tell people about what he did and the guilt grew inside him. The more time passed the more miserable he got and from just mental pain it started to show physically. He looked weaker and sick.The people of the town didn't know why the reverend was looking so sick so they thought it would be good if Roger Chillingworth, the doctor would move in with Dimmsdale. No one except Hester knew that Roger Chillingworths real name was Roger Prynne and he was Hester's husband in England, and that we wanted to get revenge on Mr. Dimmsdale. When Dimmsdale agreed to let Chillingworth move in with him he didn't know who Chillingworth was. Every day Chillingworth would talk to Dimmsdale about guilt just to make him suffer more. In a few words Hawthorn describes Chillingworth in this sentence, "He now dug into the poor clergy man s heart, like a miner searching for gold, or like a sexton delving into a grave" (S.L p. 118). A great example of that was this question Chillingworth asked Dimmsdale, "Why should a wretched man, guilty, we will say, of murder, prefer to keep the dead corpse buried in his own heart, rather than fling it forth at once, and let the universe take care of it!" (S.L p.121)After...

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