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Word Count: 814
The Scarlet Letter 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 literature This statement by columnist 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 yet he is a self-confessed coward and hypocrite He knows what he has to do to quiet 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 relieve himself of his sin by revealing it to his congregation but somehow can never quite manage this He is a typical diagnosis of a wuss 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 unfavorably But his problem is largely 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 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 ask forgiveness for the cowardice which holds him back Dimmesdale goes slightly mad He takes up some morbid forms of self penalty-fasts and lashings-but he can neither whip nor starve the sin from his soul In his agony he staggers to the pulpit to confess but his
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