Scarlet Letter Description Essay

The Scarlet Letter involves many characters that go through several changes
during the course of the story. In particular, 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.

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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 chest. As a result, Dimmesdale preaches the best sermons of his life and
becomes more involved with the church and its people. His morality has
strengthened even more because he has a large amount of guilt that can be heard
in his voice as pathos and the people connect with it, and he wants salvation.

Near the end of the book, Dimmesdale and Hester finally meet in the woods to
talk. They decide to flee the town by a ship that is leaving in a few days.

After making this choice, Dimmesdale is haunted by bad feelings and strange
urges that make him realize that it is Satan urging him to deny his sin by
running away. Therefore, Dimmesdale changes his mind and chooses to stay. After
his change of heart, Dimmesdale re-writes the Election Day sermon that he is to
preach. He successfully gives the sermon and afterwards climbs up onto the
scaffold. He then asks Hester and Pearl to join him. Pearl is excited because
she has waiting for this moment for a long time. Hester is hesitant, but does
join him. Standing hand in hand once again, Dimmesdale confesses to the town
that he is the adulterer, he shows the A on his chest, and he forgives
Chillingworth for torturing him. Then, Dimmesdale drops on his knees and dies
right there on the scaffold, right in front of everyone. Dimmesdale is a lot
like many people today. We are afraid to admit to wrong doings and we allow the
guilt to torment us until we cannot bear it any longer. Dimmesdale is the
perfect example of how evil we can become when we let our guilt overcome us, but
he is the moral blossom of the novel because he realizes what he is doing, he is
ashamed of it, and he confesses and forgives to rid himself of his tormentors.


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