Hiding Sin and Confessing Sin 9/10/01 4th The way Hester and Dimmesdale approached their sins has a direct correlation with how they lived the rest of their lives. Hester confessed her sin because she had no choice she already had incriminating evidence in the form of a child and had to confess or be expelled from the community. In this sense, Hester had no choice but to confess or leave the community and she chose to confess. Although, we may not know why she made this choice, but we know she made it and she decided to stay with it and not leave the community in order to possibly confess her sins. Arthur Dimmesdale did not confess his sins for all the wrong reasons. He didn’t confess for mostly two reasons those being: his belief that man did not judge other men but only God can do that or that he will better serve his people with a sinful heart and not a sinful appearance.Arthur had to deal with all the pressures of a life of sin but also the pressure of his own conscience to confess those sins.
The pressures on his body were worse than that of Hester who had confessed her sins. One of the main reasons that Arthur was in poor physical condition was that the wise Doctor Chillingworth had poisoned him, and kept poisoning him until he had confessed of his sins at the end of the book. This and the fact that his grief and guilt had led him to totally decimate his body both spiritually and physically he had just driven himself too far. Farther than any person should take this kind of self-mutilation. His social life also suffered as a result of this physical and mental torture because he had turned into a walking zombie and had not been very responsive to anything but his terrible torment.
In this way, he was degrading himself and thought it necessary to do so for repentance. Although, he had not voiced his sin publicly he had preached about himself not being pure and being a sinner. In spite of this, the unknowing congregation worshiped him all the more for his self-proclamation of sinfulness without telling what his sin was. Hester had to deal with her guilt in a whole different method than that of Arthur’s and therefore chose to ignore it rather than to be overcome by it. She showed remarkable strength in getting through it although she felt weak inside. Arthur and Hester had very different ways of dealing with guilt because they had two very different kinds of guilt to deal with.
Hester’s guilt was very public and Arthur’s was very private. Hester had an easier way of dealing with her guilt from what Arthur was doing but she might have been showing her guilt more in order to get rid of it. Whereas Arthur let it build up inside of him to be released in one big ordeal that was to come. Hester had it easier because she had not the burden of being a public symbol and she was already an outcast so she had not all that Arthur had to lose.In both having the same sin the two, Arthur and Hester, had a common bond between them that connected them to each other and had kept them from revealing the other’s secret up until the very end. Hester’s secret being that Arthur was the father and Arthur’s being he had not confessed to being the father.
If Hester had not waited for Arthur to speak up for himself and had blurted out who the father was he might have been hung for his having broken the fellowship with God. It could be said she, in being silent, had saved his life. In the end, he eventually told everyone he was the father but had not done so when he was younger and he died right after he told the truth about he and Hester to the community thus relieving him of his burdens and releasing his spirit. In dealing with guilt they, both took different routes. Hester, being the stronger of the two decided to try and repent of her sins by taking the punishment of the town elders and obeying it to her deathbed.
In this Arthur saw strength he had not a bit of but, because of this he decided to hide his own guilt and let the Lord punish him for his crimes and to punish himself with daily vigils, prayers, whippings, and fasts to discipline himself to be a more devout puritan. At one point the two decided to deal with their guilt by fleeing the country and going back to England but when Arthur confesses Hester and Pearl leave on their own and Hester finally comes back to be redeemed by the same town that had cursed her years before and died there and old woman.English Essays