Cont. English

Dimmesdale is not free since he does not live with his moral code, because he is concerned with society’s condemnation. He hides his secret of adultery, which is going against his moral code of honesty. Consequently, he is unable to relieve himself of his guilt, and for this reason, he believes that “the only truth that…give[s] [him] a real existence on this earth [is] the anguish in his inmost soul” (134). As revealed, the truth is found in Dimmesdale’s burden. To be free, he needs to reveal his secret. By doing so, he is living under his moral code and as himself, and he is not keeping his “real existence” that lets him be free within himself. On the other hand, Dimmesdale makes an unsatisfying choice to live against his moral code. Because of this, he becomes worry when Hester tells him that Chillingworth is her husband. Dimmesdale panics and says, “Here is a new horror! Roger Chillingworth knows your purpose to reveal his true character. Will he continue, then to keep our secret” (179)? Because Dimmesdale still has not revealed his secret and been honest and open, his conscience is bothered that the truth will come out from Chillingworth. Thus, he is not free because he allows himself to hide his own secret and not live with his moral code of honesty. Living as he does against his moral code, Dimmesdale is ultimately left with an uneasy conscience and is not free.

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