The Scarlet Letter

What does Dimsdale do in private?

Scarlet Letter Chapter 11(XI) The Interior of a heart

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Dimmesdale has become a masochist, and he uses chains and whips to beat himself in his closet. In addition he undertakes extremely long fasts, refusing to eat or drink as penance. This fasting causes him to have hallucinations in which he sees his parents, friends, and even Pearl and Hester. One night he decides that there might be a way for him to overcome his anguish, and he softly leaves his house.