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Word Count: 723
The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne In Nathaniel Hawthornes tale of The Scarlet Letter Arthur Dimmesdale a main character is confronted with a number of circumstances both in and out of his control that lead to his ultimate demise Arthur Dimmesdale a minister lives his life for the townspeople of Boston and as a result becomes a slave to the public opinion His sin against Hester and Pearl is that he will not acknowledge them as his lover and daughter in the daylight He keeps his secret from all the parishioners in the church for seven years for fear that he will be cast out and hated by them He is too weak to admit his sins openly and in their entirety Instead he allows his parishioners to believe that he is a good law abiding citizen They love him all the more for his honest and modest character and this is Arthurs intent Arthurs flaw can be found in the fact that he chooses to value the public view above those of Hester his love and God his master Arthur punishing himself for his ugly secret which his need for public approval will not let him reveal gradually kills himself through guilt and masochistic ritual In Mr Dimmesdales secret closet under lock and key there was a bloody rod He was not fasting to purify himself and reach a higher level of understanding but to use it as a penance for his sin to Hester He tries to purify himself through introspection but instead tortures himself with guilt and shame and pain Athur allows his guilt and self-hatred to destroy his heart and soul but he still refuses to confess and repent publicly his great transgression He is often seen with his hand covering his heart looking pained and repentant Along with having a tragic flaw that destroys his life a tragic hero must recognize this destruction invoking awe and pity in the reader This
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