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One of the most important issues to note in Chapter 20 is: How did Rev. Dimmesdale's attitude change after he decided to leave Boston with Hester? The answer is that even though he has more energy, he is also tempted to sin in very serious ways. He thinks about making inappropriate suggestions to a young maiden, telling an old man "blasphemous" things that will cause the old man to doubt his beliefs and he is tempted to teach "wicked words" to children. So his upcoming freedom from the scarlet letter and Chillingworth seems to have unleashed some negative aspects of Dimmesdale's personality as well.
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