The Scarlet Letter - Study Guide Chapter 20 Summary & Analysis

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Upon leaving the forest, Dimmesdale has more energy than he is used to. Yet, in this new freedom, there is something amiss. In passing a deacon, he pauses for conversation, but strange, blasphemous suggestions occur to him and he trembles for fear of the force inside him. Passing by an older woman of the Church, he cannot recall a word of scripture, but, instead, is tempted to propose an argument against the immortality of the soul. It is as if the hope for personal liberation from his past sins has freed terrible, unspiritual forces within him. Finally, seeing a younger woman, he is again tempted to say something to her, which will have a negative aftermath that will sully the lady. So he ignores her and marches on towards home, beset with these new temptations. On his way home, he passes the Mistress Hibbings, who is reputed...

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This section contains 295 words
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The Scarlet Letter from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.