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Guilt Without Confession Leads to Great Consequences

Uploaded by cosmokramerapt5b on May 06, 2001

If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, did it make a sound? This saying brings me to my thesis of "Guilt Without Confession leads to Great Consequences in The Scarlet Letter". If a character does something wrong but no one knows, that character can both gain and lose from what they have done. This happens multiple times in The Scaret Letter. Characters commit evil deeds, some are caught, some are not. For those that aren't caught, they have a decision to make. To turn themselves in or to live their lives as if it never happened. For those that choose to live on as if it never happened they are faced with a tough road ahead. They have to deal with the guilt of what they've done. All the while, they must watch to see if anyone is on to them or suspects them of the crime they have commited. However they are rewarded. They get to live on as a regular member of society rather than be imprisoned or even worse, put to death. These are examples of characters who have commited crimes without confessing.

Arthur Dimmesdale is a minister, a father, a sinner and a man who feels incredible guilt. He commits adultery with Hester before the book begins. As the book begins it is revealed he is the true father of Hester's child Pearl. Dimmesdale, afraid of losing his status and being humiliated , does not confess his crime. For this this he is rewarded and greatly punished. He is rewarded by keeping his status in the community. He continues to preach to his flock, for which he gains great acclaim. He is able to see Hester and Pearl whenever he wants. He is also free to leave anytime he wants. He has his freedom and his reputation. However, he also has something he doesn't want, his conscience. How unfortunate it is a person can get away from being caught for a crime. A crime that is punishable by death. Yet, he can't enjoy it. Most people would leave town, sorry for that they've done, but ecstatic they got away to start a new life. Not Dimmesdale, not Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. He beats himself up over it. Usually thats an analogy, but not this time. The rest of his life is a descent into madness brought on by constant...

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Uploaded by:   cosmokramerapt5b

Date:   05/06/2001

Category:   The Scarlet Letter

Length:   7 pages (1,492 words)

Views:   2937

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