The most ironic part of The Scarlett Letter is that Dimmesdale remains throughout the story up until the end as a respected, well-liked, admired, highly-followed, trendy, beloved, praised and nearly-adored pastor whose following got bigger and bigger the more emacited, sick-looking, and odd he became.
This is ironic because it is as if Hawthorne is laughing at those die-hard church goers who see right in front of them that their shining light of a leader is obviously going through some very odd and psychologically detrimental issues that are beginning to show physically- and yet- that is precisely what their blindness leads them to believe: That such bipolar exoticism, furor and decay are the product of such a Christian life that he should be admired evermore. This, is the man that abandoned Hester and lied to his flock right on their faces while dying of guilt inside.
With irony being a contrast or incongruity between what is expected to be and what actually happens, perhaps the greatest irony...
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