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Word Count: 1,391
No man for any considerable period can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude without finally becoming bewildered as to which may be true In Nathaniel Hawthornes The Scarlet Letter this quote applies to the two main characters of the novel It applies to Arthur Dimmesdale in a literal way he clearly is not the man that he appears to be and the guilt that goes along with such deception consumes him and in the end is the cause for his demise The quote also applies to Hester Prynne but in quite a different way It was not her choice to wear the face that she was forced to wear but the scarlet letter on her bosom determined how people saw her and in turn how she was expected to feel about herself At first however Hester did not consider the sin which she committed as blasphemous and horrible as the people of Boston did but she was forced to wear the face of an evil doer For both Hester and Arthur it was true that they could not live their lives concealing their true emotions Arthur literally could not live with it while Hester changed the way she felt on the inside to correspond to her guilty imageAt the court house when Arthur Dimmesdale was pleading for Hester to reveal the name of the man with whom she had an affair it was clear that a part of him actually wanted everyone to know that it was he who was the guilty one Be not silent from any mistaken pity and tenderness for him for believe me Hester though he were to step down from a high placebetter were it so than to hide a guilty heart through life47 When this plea is made it at first glance appears to be quite ironic The actual man who committed the crime is trying to convince his accomplice to do him in However
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