The Scarlet Letter Chapter 3 -- The Recognition

16. How does Hawthorne describe Reverend Dimmsdale, the spiritual leader of the community?

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Hawthorne describes Dimmesdale as young, eloquent, striking and nervous. He also says....

".... there was an air about this young minister—an apprehensive, a startled, a half-frightened look—as of a being who felt himself quite astray, and at a loss in the pathway of human existence, and could only be at ease in some seclusion of his own. Therefore, so far as his duties would permit, he trod in the shadowy by-paths, and thus kept himself simple and childlike, coming forth, when occasion was, with a freshness, and fragrance, and dewy purity of thought, which, as many people said, affected them like the speech of an angel."


The Scarlet Letter