Would you think keeping a secret inside of you could lead to your downfall? Well in “The Scarlet Letter”, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The character “Reverend Dimmesdale” keeps a secret to himself and by not telling anyone else his secret, the guilt eats him up inside until he is really sick. Dimmesdale starts out as a quiet man that was adored by many of the people. Dimmesdale over time was beginning to become weaker and sicker. At the end he can’t keep his secret to himself anymore and he confesses in front of the whole town his sin that he had committed seven years ago.
In the eyes of the public Dimmesdale was the perfect minister. He gave more powerful and touching sermons than anyone else around. He was the overall image of perfection for a minister. During his sermons, he hints at what he has done, but is not able to tell them outright and confess his sin, because he is still afraid of the consequences of publicly confessing. “He had spoken the very truth, and transformed it into the veriest falsehood. Therefore, above all things else, he loathed his miserable self” (Hawthorne 96). By not telling his congregation, they still see him as a perfect minister. The people want to believe that he is perfect so they don’t want to believe he is capable of committing such a sin. Instead of chastising him for his sin, the congregation believes that he is being humble.
Dimmesdale by keeping his secret within, he felt extreme guilty and wasn’t able to function to his full potential. His physical state continued to worsen as he tried to avoid his just punishment. “Looked now more careworn and emanciated than as we described him at the scene of Hester’s public ignominy: and whether it were his failing health, or whatever the cause might be, his large dark eyes had a world of pain in their troubled and melancholy depth” (Hawthorne 124). Because he is an important moral figure in society, he fears that his soul could not take the shame of such a...