The Scarlet Letter Rev Dimmesdale Essay Research
The Scarlet Letter; Rev. Dimmesdale Essay, Research Paper
Time is perhaps man s worst enemy, beside himself. For countless eons, man has tried to fight the affects of time. For time brings change. They are inevitably linked in the same cosmic chain. No matter what you do, no matter the steps you take, time will always bring change. Time can bring on many types of changes. It can bring on physical change, such as a mountain being destroyed over time by erosion. Or, it can bring on emotional and physiological change, such as an army prisoner of war in a POW camp. But bear in mind, a person s physical surroundings can also serve to speed/slow/reduce/and even counteract the change. Change is not always for the worst. Some changes can be for the better. In THE SCARLET LETTER, Nathaniel Hawthorne, shows that as time goes by, Reverend Dimmesdale changes from a strong, hearty man to a weak and sickly one, but also given enough time (and some encouragement), he re-grows to once again be a strong man, perhaps more so than he was before.
As we first meet Author Dimmesdale, he was a young clergy man… His eloquence and religious fervor has already given the earnest of high eminence in he profession. (p. 62. 3rd paragraph)* The people loved and respected him. He was thought to be a godly pastor, (p. 48) of Hester. But the people do not know his secret. They do not know the dark sin that he holds in the deep recesses of his heart. This causes him much pain.
It is inconceivable, the agony whit which this public veneration tortured him! It was his genuine impulse to adore the truth, and to reckon all things shadow-like, and utterly devoid or weight or value, that had not its divine essence as the life within their life. Then, what was he? -a substance?- or the dimmest of all shadows? (page 131-123)
Mr. Dimmesdale does all that he can in a vain attempt to rid himself of the guilt he hides inside. He whips himself, he fasts, and he even goes to the scaffold in an endeavor to alleviate his guilt. But all attempts fail and leads to more guilt and hence more chastising.
He is not cured from his guilt until he and Hester agree to leave the colony and return to England. The excitement of Mr. Dimmesdale s feelings, as he returned for his interview with Hester, lent him unaccustomed physical energy, and hurried him town ward at a rapid pace. (p. 197) After this interview , he becomes stronger and more energetic. His energy is comparable to the energy he had when he first arrived in New England.
It was the observation of those who beheld him now that never, since Mr. Dimmesdale first set foot on the New England shore, had he exhibited such energy as was seen in the gait and air with which he kept his pace in other procession. There was no feebleness of step, as at other times; his frame was not bent; nor did his hand rest ominously upon his heart. (Page 217)
Even though he regained his strength, he was doomed to die anyway. In death he summoned his newfound energy to do the right thing. He announced to the whole world that he was the father of little Pearl. Perhaps the noblest and best thing he has ever done.
Hush, Hester, hush! said he with tremulous solemnity. The law was broke! -The sin here so awfully revealed I fear! I fear! It may be that, when we forgot our God, -when we violated our reverence each for the other s soul, -it was thenceforth vain to hope that we could meet hereafter, in everlasting and pure reunion. God knows; and he is merciful Had either of these agonies been wanting, I had been lost forever! Praise be His name! His will be done! Farewell! (Page 233)
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. THE SCARLET LETTER. 2nd ed. New York. Bantam Books, 1986