How does Hawthorne show that Dimmesdale's religious identity is more important than raising Pearl properly?This changes towards the end of the book. Since Pearl doesn't have a father figure in...

How does Hawthorne show that Dimmesdale's religious identity is more important than raising Pearl properly?

This changes towards the end of the book. Since Pearl doesn't have a father figure in her life, it has had both a positive and negative effect on her life.

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timbrady's profile pic

timbrady | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

I don't know that Hawthorne ever suggests this.  Hester is portrayed as doing a find job of raising Pearl (given the strange child that Peal is).  What he does make clear is that Dimmesdale's religious identify is not something that he "wears" on the oustide ... it is something that is intricately woven into who he is.  One quote from the text makes this very clear:  "Mr. Dimmesdale was a true priest, a true religionist, with the reverential sentiment largely developed, and an order of mind that impelled itself powerfully along the track of a creed, and wore its passage continually deeper with the lapse of time. In no state of society would he have been what is called a man of liberal views; it would always be essential to his peace to feel the pressure of a faith about him, supporting, while it confined him within its iron framework."  I think the most important part of this quote is the reference to his faith as a "iron framework."  It does two things:  it confines him within a narrow framework of beliefs/practices) and supports him by defining for him who he is.  This is absolutely essential to his nature and, in part, helps us understand his behavior, whether we chose to agree/sympathize with it.  If Hester had died in childbirth, Dimmesdale may have behaved differently ... but Hawthorne didn't write that book :)

rohizzle121's profile pic

rohizzle121 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

ok i didnt see a edit button

but i think i have one so like

"in the scarlet letter nathaniel hawthorne shows the the sun and darkness comparing and contrasting pearl and hester"

rohizzle121's profile pic

rohizzle121 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

oh i see what your saying how hester is portreyed as a good mother [in essence].

well you just completly shattered my thesis statement for my english project. [which was supposed to include a theme and a symbol]

 i had a back-up one planned.

i was thinking somthing along the lines of like

"In the scarlet letter nathaniel hawthorne shows the black man is "

 

actually thats all i got, if you could point me in the right direction that would be awesome.

its supposed to be like like "In the scarlet letter nathaniel hawthorne *symbol+theme* or *symbol+motif*

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