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Josue Marine Mrs.

Crowley

4/23/14 Pd. 7

As a minister, Dimmesdale has a voice that consoles and an ability to sway audiences. His congregation adores him and his parishioners seek his advice. As a minister, Dimmesdale must be above everyone else. If he publicly confesses, he loses his ability to be effective in this regard. In an attempt to seek salvation, he whips himself on the shoulders until he bleeds, but these punishments are done in private and do not provide the cleansing he seeks and needs. After his interview with Hester in the forest, Dimmesdale has transformed from a god like man, to a crazy ill man to a haggard and feeble man and last of all a happy and relieved man. The decision he made to leave with Hester showed that he knew he was a sinner, and thus he believed the devil was finally acting through him, as shown in the passages. On the way home, he sees how far his defenses have been breached by evil. For example, while hurrying along the street, after preventing himself from uttering certain blasphemous suggestion that rose into his mind, respecting the communion supper. He encountered the eldest female member of his church, who was seeking seeking religious consolations and the truths of Scripture, but Dimmesdale could recall no text from Scripture, except an unanswerable argument against the immortality of the human soul. Finally, he met a young lady who recently joined Dimmesdales church after one of his sermons. He fears that his strange state of mind will lead him to plant some corrupting germ in her, so he hides his face with his cloak and keeps walking. He acted more on his basic instincts as a human being, and less on the constricting Puritan values of the time. These thoughts explain why he can so easily write his Election Day sermon, which is filled with the passion of his struggle and his humanity. Dimmesdale's confession in the third scaffold scene and the climax of the story is the action that

ensures his salvation. The reader senses that whether chosen or earned, Dimmesdale's salvation is a reality. Having had several opportunities to confess, without success until this scene, he asks God's forgiveness not only for himself, but also for Chillingworth, who confirms the minister's triumph when he laments, "Thou hast escaped me!... Thou hast escaped me!" Dimmesdale's confession also brings about Pearl's humane change. Dimmesdale knew the pain of sin, thus allowing him to empathize with his audience, which explains why he was able to give such powerful sermons. But because of the rules of the Puritan society of the time he had no choice but to suffer and seek salvation alone, unlike Hester Prynne. He went through some physical, emotional, and spiritual changes through the novel Physically, the guilt he had inside of him began to build up. It made him ill and he appeared to be weak and pale. Spiritually, the decision he made to leave with Hester showed that he knew he was a sinner, and thus he believed the devil was finally acting through him. He acted more on his basic instincts as a human being, and less on the constricting Puritan values of the time. Emotionally, in the end, he gave in to his social pressures and confessed. He completely felt a sense of redemption afterward. Like Hester and Chillingworth, Dimmesdale undergoes changes that mark the development of events in the story.