The Scarlet Letter involves many characters that go throughseveral changes during the course of the story.
In particular,the young minister Dimmesdale, who commits adultery withHester, greatly changes. He is the moral blossom of thebook, the character that makes the most progress for thebetter.It is true that Dimmesdale, being a minister, should be therole model of the townspeople. He is the last person whoshould commit such an awful crime and lie about it, but in theend, he confesses to the town.
Besides, everybody,including ministers, sin, and the fact that he confessesillustrates his courage and morality.Hester and Dimmesdale’s affair goes undiscovered untilHester is pregnant and bears a child without having herhusband present. As her punishment, Hester is forced tostand on the scaffold in the middle of the market place, withan A on her chest. Dimmesdale has not told a single personthat he is the adulterer. He sits in the balcony with theGovernor, a judge, a general, and the rest of the ministers,watching the display, without any expression or emotion.Hester and Pearl go to the Governor’s home to deliver apair of gloves, but more importantly to inquire about thepossibility of the government taking away her child. Alsothere with Governor Bellingham are Pastor Wilson,Reverend Dimmesdale and Roger Chillingworth.
After Mr.Wilson asks Pearl a few questions, the Governor decidesthat Hester is unfit as a mother and that the child would bebetter off in the hands of the church. Hester begsDimmesdale, whom she says knows everything about herand has charge of her soul, to speak for her.
Therefore, hedoes, convincing the Governor to let Hester keep Pearl. Thisis Dimmesdale’s first step to becoming the moral blossom. Late at night, a few years after the previous incident,Dimmesdale takes a walk through the town. He climbs ontothe scaffold and pretends to confess; though there is no oneout at this time at night.
Hester and Pearl, on their wayhome, pass Dimmesdale on the scaffold. Dimmesdale callsout to them and they join him, standing hand in hand in thedarkness. Dimmesdale has begun the road to confession byacknowledging Hester and Pearl and by acting outconfession.
Now he feels guiltier than ever. He tortures himself, partlybecause of Chillingworth’s actions, by whipping himself andself-inflicting the letter A on his.