The Scarlet Letter 2 Essay

971 words - 4 pages

Every individual in the world is frail. Everyone experiences sorrow. In the classical literature novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the author describes the book as "a tale of human frailty and sorrow". Hawthorne uses the novel to depict Arthur Dimmesdale's "human frailty and sorrow" through his physical appearance, emotional state, and words spoken to other characters throughout the novel.
As Dimmesdale continues to hide and cover up the sin that he committed from the community, it becomes physically obvious that Dimmesdale is experiencing the frailty and sorrow that come from being a human when Hawthorne describes him "suffering under bodily disease, and gnawed and tortured ...view middle of the document...

While he is there, he sees Mr. Wilson, another minister, walking on the street below. Dimmesdale's first reaction is "hardly [restraining] himself from speaking"(102). Dimmesdale even imagines himself calling out to the other minister to join him on top of the platform. This small incident shows the frailty of Dimmesdale's character and how the sins that he has committed has weakened his emotional state and therefore caused him more sorrow. This proves the frailty and sorrow of Dimmesdale emotionally because it shows that he almost wants to be caught by someone so he can share the burden of sorrow that weighs him down. When Hester meets with Dimmesdale in the forest and asks him "'Hast thou [found peace]?'", Dimmesdale responds somberly and irately saying "'None-- nothing but despair! [...] What else could [he] look for, being what [he] am, and leading such a life as [his]?'"(146). This response from Dimmesdale shows that he cannot find a meaning in life since he committed his damning sin. The emotional breakdown of Dimmesdale shown in this scene shows the sorrow that Dimmesdale experiences in the novel due to his sin. From these two quotes, it is evident that the emotional state of Dimmesdale has contributed to the sorrow and frailty that Dimmesdale encounters.
In the beginning on the novel, Hester is thrust upon the scaffold for the first of three scaffold scenes. While on the raised platform, Hester is asked and pleaded to revel the name of the sinner who committed adultery with her. When Dimmesdale is asked to confront her while on the scaffold, he says "Be not silent from any mistaken pity and tenderness for him; for, believe me, Hester, though he were to step down from a high place, and stand there beside thee on thy pedestal of shame, yet better were it so, than to hide a guilty heart...

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