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The Character of Dimmesdale in The Scarlet Letter In Hawthorne's classic, The Scarlet Letter, the pathetic, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale is fully aware of the means by which he has to liberate his soul from his grave sin. Yet, throughout the story his confession remains an impediment, constraining him from then onwards, to a life of atonement. Reverend Dimmesdale tries to divest himself of his guilt by showing it to his own parishioners during services, but never manages to accomplish the task. Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale is obviously both a coward and a hypocrite for the large part, Dimmesdale's story is just one of a lonely man who's become temptation and want. His sexual craving is looked upon with ignominy. The thing is further convoluted by Hester's marriage, and his unwillingness to mar his standing among the villagers as the faithful and innocent priest. He's presently stranded at a crossroad, not knowing whether to confess or continue a lifetime of self-punishment. The sin begins to gnaw away at his sanity. As a form of penance that he partakes in late night vigils, starvation, and self-mutilation. His actions of penance were acute and drained him of much of his life force. Ultimately becoming fed up with his protracted misery, he walked unsteadily into the podium to expose his secret, but his confession was ambiguous and inconclusive, and people believed he had been talking about the sins of humanity. Throughout The Scarlet Letter, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale has lots of opportunities to admit. One of the very first minutes available to Dimmesdale to confess was about the scaffolding in the beginning when Hester was humiliated before the townspeople. Dimmesdale was preaching to her to get hou...