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Wilson, is in awe of Dimmesdale's goodness and sanctity.Inside the good minister, however, is a storm raging between holiness and self-torture. At worst, Dimmesdale is a symbol of hypocrisy and self-centered intellectualism; he knows what is right but has not the courage to make himself do the public act.For them, simple patterns, like the meteor streaking through the sky, became religious or moral interpretations for human events.

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Thus, using his characters as symbols, Hawthorne discloses the grim underside of Puritanism that lurks beneath the public piety.

Some of Hawthorne's symbols change their meaning, depending on the context, and some are static. Wilson, who represents the Church, or Governor Bellingham, who represents the State.

Instead, Hawthorne ultimately presents Hester as a woman who represents a sensitive human being with a heart and emotions; Dimmesdale as a minister who is not very saint-like in private but, instead, morally weak and unable to confess his hidden sin; and Chillingworth as a husband who is the worst possible offender of humanity and single-mindedly pursuing an evil goal.

Hawthorne's embodiment of these characters is denied by the Puritan mentality: At the end of the novel, even watching and hearing Dimmesdale's confession, many members of the Puritan community still deny what they saw.

Whereas the Puritans translated such rituals into moral and repressive exercises, Hawthorne turns their interpretations around in The Scarlet Letter.

The Puritan community sees Hester as a fallen woman, Dimmesdale as a saint, and would have seen the disguised Chillingworth as a victim — a husband betrayed.

Characters Hester is the public sinner who demonstrates the effect of punishment on sensitivity and human nature.

She is seen as a fallen woman, a culprit who deserves the ignominy of her immoral choice.

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