How does Dimsdale feel about his role as the much-respected minister in the community and why doesn't he thrive amid the people who admire him?

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cldbentley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Dimmesdale feels himself to be a hypocrite while serving as minister; he has committed a sin in having a child with Hester (adultery, etc.), and cannot forgive himself for doing so. Dimmesdale cannot thrive in his community because his guilty conscience plagues him without mercy. Were Dimmesdale able to forgive himself, he would not suffer as he does.

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The Scarlet Letter

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