Dimmesdale: Someone from Above or Below?.
Some people believe that a novel's central character can be identified within the first few chapters of a novel. This could be no further from the truth when it comes to the Scarlet Letter. The Scarlet Letter's main character is noticed in the first chapters as Arthur Dimmesdale, the man who is responsible for the scarlet letter ever happening. Dimmesdale denies his guilt about the scarlet letter and ends up in an emotional rollercoaster that puts the main focus on him and his well being. If one looks at where he goes in this "rollercoaster- I find myself seeing his links to the other characters both physically and emotionally. The bad and the good things in his emotional rants show his struggle to find purity in his life and his want to be rid of his guilty conscious. Although there are several characters that also face difficult struggles in their lives, only Dimmesdale was able to bring out the true essence that became the Scarlet Letter.
Arthur Dimmesdale is a truly essential character to the Scarlet Letter, in that without him the scarlet letter wouldn't have been, and the novel never would have been written. He becomes the main focus in the beginning when Hester was on trial. Although Dimmesdale could have taken the easy way out and accepted that he did commit a sin and move on with his life, he decides that he will keep it internally and pretend it never happened. This denial sets his character up for an emotional rollercoaster that will eventually come with his guilty conscious. .
This "rollercoaster- that Dimmesdale faces becomes his battle with fantasy and reality. His fantasy being the unobtainable pureness that he was always searching for, it became the only way he thought he needed to cleanse his soul. The reality was the scaffold, and his ties to it because of his guilt. Dimmesdale's battle with the fantasy and reality is evident when he is walking through the forest and, "that his pathway through life was haunted thus, by a spectra that had stolen out from among his thoughts.