In "The Scarlet Letter" does Hester love Dimmesdale?  

Expert Answers
mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Yes, she loves him very much.  Think about it.  Despite being asked over and over again, and despite having to bear the brunt of her punishment, shame and degradation alone, Hester never reveals that Dimmesdale is the father of her child.  She protects his identity fiercely, at great personal loss and sacrifice.  This indicates thats she loves him very much.  Later on in the novel, when she encounters him in the forest again, they both speak of love and of leaving together, running away to live where they won't be judged and criticized.  That shows that she is willing to change her entire life to be with him--she loves him.  Love brought them together in the first place, and love kept Hester silent about Dimmesdale's role in the affair.  She knew that if Dimmesdale were exposed, it would ruin his life as a minister, and so many people looked up to him and counted on him as their advisor and preacher.  She didn't want to do that.  She wanted thim to, on his own terms, and when he was ready, confess for himself.  In the meantime, she bore double the criticism, double the judgment, and all of the gossip of the townspeople because she loved Dimmesdale enough to keep his secret safe.

"The Scarlet Letter" is at its surface a tale about a repressive Puritan community, and one woman's enduring spirit to overcome her circumstances, but underneath it all, it is a love story.  It is a tale of two people who love each other very much, in a world that won't accept them for their love.  Hester's love for Dimmesdale was a major force in her life, and it showed in her silence and willingness to go away with him, if he chose.  I hope that those thoughts helped; good luck!

melissa1106 | Student

Hester loved Dimmesdale very much. She wants to protect him from the judging and shunning of the town so she does not reveal that he is the father of her child. She sufferes alone in judgement and isolation from the town just to save the man she loves from humiliation.

sfg13165 | Student

of course hester loved Dimmesdale, when the towns people asked her who her lover was, she refused to tell them, because she loved Dimmesdale to much, and didn't want to mess up his reputation as a minister. If she didn't have love for him, she would have told who her secret lover was.

Read the study guide:
The Scarlet Letter

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question