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Dimmesdale and Puritan Society

Uploaded by Yogi36 on Dec 03, 1999

In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne utilizes imagery to convey that Dimmesdale can represent Puritan Society rather than the round character that can be seen on the surface level. This is seen through the imagery and symbolism of hypocrisy, Dimmesdale as a Christ figure, and the scarlet letter. First of all, Hawthorne parallels the hypocrisy of Dimmesdale to that of Puritan society. Hawthorne describes Dimmesdale as, "a viler companion of the vilest, the worst of sinners," even though Dimmesdale is seen as the most holy man in the Puritan community. Puritan society was supposed to be a utopian society and do away with their English traditions. Similarly, as Dimmesdale was supposed to be holy, yet they both were hypocritical. Secondly, Dimmesdale portrays the Puritan society by not initially taking his place on the scaffold, "Ye have both been here before, but I was not with you… and we will stand all three together." The Puritans modeled Dimmesdale's hypocrisy, as they were supposed to be a "city on a hill" for the world to see while they ended up mixing up English tradition with their ideals. While Dimmesdale hid his sin at the first scaffold seen, so did the Puritans when they colonized America. The Puritans faults were not initially that obvious but as time grew on they appeared on their scaffold just as Dimmesdale does. Hawthorne writes about one of Dimmesdale's sermons that is, "addressed to the multitude a discourse on sin, in all its branches." In Dimmesdale's sermons, he spoke out against sin while at the same time he commits this sin, just as the Puritans committed sins that they condemned Dimmesdale's character models Puritan society in the way they treat religious persecution. The Puritans left England to flee from religious intolerance, but when they got to the colonies, they had no religious tolerance for people with different religious beliefs. Dimmesdale speaks out against adultery and commits it, the Puritans demand religious tolerance but refuse to give it. Dimmesdale symbolically portrays Jesus Christ in certain ways. For example, Dimmesdale's death marked the beginning of a new era, just as Christ's death marked a new beginning for all of those who believe in Him. Dimmesdale's death symbolically ends the marks the beginning of American History and the end of colonial history, just as Christ's death marked the beginning of the Christian church. Also, Dimmesdale mirrored Jesus Christ, in His teaching that to...

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Uploaded by:   Yogi36

Date:   12/03/1999

Category:   The Scarlet Letter

Length:   4 pages (818 words)

Views:   2642

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