The Scarlet Letter Chapter 20 Summary And Analysis
Dimmesdale cannot believe what has just happened in the forest and quickly departs. Looking back, he sees Pearl dancing to his departure, and Hester is deeply engulfed in sorrow. Thinking about their plan, Dimmesdale believes escaping to Europe is the best option. What’s more, there is a vessel docked at the harbor set to begin its voyage to Europe in 4 days. This enables him to offer an election sermon thorough which he can honorably terminate his career.
Dimmesdale is now a changed man who sees all things in a new light and is more energized that he becomes scared for himself. He shows no restraint in speaking out his mind and seems profane. Soon after Hibbins admits to Dimmesdale that she admires how he hides his true feelings at daytime.
Once he arrives home, Chillingworth offers him medicine to calm his agitation. Dimmesdale then lies that he does not need the medication then proceeds to write the election sermon.
Analysis of the Chapter 20
In this chapter, we can observe Dimmesdale’s spiritual battle. He is now transformed into an energetic and passionate man. Upon arriving at the town, he experiences the temptation to indulge in the wild, irrational, and blasphemous urge to do wicked acts to members of the Puritan community. Mistress Hibbins also recognizes the fire within him.
Dimmesdale is tempted to actualize his dream of happiness that he had longed for, with an intentional choice more than ever before. He understands it is a grievous sin, and his decision is rekindling an array of evil impulses, thus taking him on the path to hell.
As Dimmesdale passionately works on his election sermon, Chillingworth states that next year the ill pastor might disappear. Dimmesdale confidently agrees to state that in fact, the pastor will be gone to another world. His answer sounds ironic since the two of them are talking about different things. From Mistress Hibbins perspective, Dimmesdale’s ability to confidently lie might be evidence that he has sold his soul.