Describe Dimmesdale's health in The Scarlet Letter.  

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ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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In the novel, The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Dimmesdale feels guilty about the blame and judgement that Hester takes and suffers as a result of their indiscretions. This results in not only physical deterioration but mental anguish as well. This actually works to his advantage at first as it helps him understand the sins and sinful nature of others more clearly. However, as he preaches and confesses his weaknesses, his audience assumes he’s creating allegories for them, and they don’t believe it’s really his sin. Consequently, Dimmesdale feels even more guilty and he becomes even more ill physically, mentally, and spiritually.