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Word Count: 1,200
But Hester is not the protagonist the chief actor and the tragedy of The Scarlet Letter is not her tragedy but Dimmesdales He it was whom the sorrows of death encompassed His public confession is one of the noblest climaxes of tragic This statement by Randall Stewart does not contain the same ideas that I believed were contained within The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne I on the contrary to Stewarts statement think Dimmesdale is a coward and a hypocrite Worse he is a self-confessed coward and hypocrite He knows what he has to do to still the voice of his conscience and make his peace with God Throughout the entire story his confession remains an obstacle While Hester is a relatively constant character Dimmesdale is incredibly dynamic From his fall with Hester he moves in steps toward his public hint of sinning at the end of the novel He tries to unburden himself of his sin by revealing it to his congregation but somehow can never quite manage this He is a To some extent Dimmesdales story is one of a single man tempted into the depths of the hormonal world This world however is a place where the society treats sexuality with ill grace But his problem is enormously complicated by the fact of Hesters marriage for him no technicality and by his own image of himself as a cleric devoted to higher things Unlike other young men Dimmesdale cannot accept his loss of innocence and go on from there He must struggle futilely to get back to where he was Torn between the desire to confess and atone the cowardice which holds him back Dimmesdale goes slightly mad He takes up some morbid forms of penance-fasts and scourgings-but he can neither whip nor starve the sin from his soul In his agony he staggers to the pulpit to confess but his words come out generalized and meaningless The reverend seems to
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