The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter involves many characters that go through

several changes during the course of the story. In particular,

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the young minister Dimmesdale, who commits adultery with

Hester, greatly changes. He is the moral blossom of the

book, the character that makes the most progress for the

better.

It is true that Dimmesdale, being a minister, should be the

role model of the townspeople. He is the last person who

should commit such an awful crime and lie about it, but in the

end, he confesses to the town. Besides, everybody,

including ministers, sin, and the fact that he confesses

illustrates his courage and morality.

Hester and Dimmesdale’s affair goes undiscovered until

Hester is pregnant and bears a child without having her

husband present. As her punishment, Hester is forced to

stand on the scaffold in the middle of the market place, with

an A on her chest. Dimmesdale has not told a single person

that he is the adulterer. He sits in the balcony with the

Governor, a judge, a general, and the rest of the ministers,

watching the display, without any expression or emotion.

Hester and Pearl go to the Governor’s home to deliver a

pair of gloves, but more importantly to inquire about the

possibility of the government taking away her child. Also

there with Governor Bellingham are Pastor Wilson,

Reverend Dimmesdale and Roger Chillingworth. After Mr.

Wilson asks Pearl a few questions, the Governor decides

that Hester is unfit as a mother and that the child would be

better off in the hands of the church. Hester begs

Dimmesdale, whom she says knows everything about her

and has charge of her soul, to speak for her. Therefore, he

does, convincing the Governor to let Hester keep Pearl. This

is Dimmesdale’s first step to becoming the moral blossom.

Late at night, a few years after the previous incident,

Dimmesdale takes a walk through the town. He climbs onto

the scaffold and pretends to confess; though there is no one

out at this time at night. Hester and Pearl, on their way

home, pass Dimmesdale on the scaffold. Dimmesdale calls

out to them and they join him, standing hand in hand in the

darkness. Dimmesdale has begun the road to confession by

acknowledging Hester and Pearl and by acting out

confession.

Now he feels guiltier than ever. He tortures himself, partly

because of Chillingworth’s actions, by whipping himself and

self-inflicting the letter A on his.

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