The Many Stitches of Timescale Richard Perl, a political advisor of the sass, once said, “Sometimes the things we… Do seem objectionable in the eyes of others” (“Brainy Quote” 7). This is true of people and situations we encounter in our everyday lives, and all of us are most likely deemed objectionable more frequently than we realize. Our behaviors can appear undesirable, offensive, or scornful to others, while we may not conceive it ourselves.
This is certainly true of the way readers perceive Damselfly’s actions to be in The Scarlet Letter, an acclaimed novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The story is a romance involving characters that have been embroidered so intricately that their natures can be equated to the needlework created by Hester, a protagonist in the story. The complexity of the romance woven into the tale soon consumed the lives of all three of the mall characters, to the point where both Arthur Timescale and Roger Chlorinating, the two male characters In the plot, underwent drastic changes. Characteristically, the romance brought out the worst In the characters, allowing the reader to question which of these two men can be considered to have the least admirable of qualities. Arthur Timescale, because of his lack of moral fiber, his inability to living up to the values of both the Puritan and Christian beliefs of his ministry, his cowardice, and his hypocrisy, is by far the most objectionable character of the two. Unable to control his lustful impulses, Arthur Timescale committed adultery with Hester, and sired their illegitimate child, Pearl.
Damselfly’s immorality defied all that he preached as a minister, as well as the commandments of his Christian faith. Timescale made an extremely poor decision. To make matters worse, while Hester continued to be publicly scorned for her sin of adultery, Damselfly’s chose to conceal his part In this sin from the public. He left the entire burden of this sin on Hester slim shoulders. Because of his unwillingness to confess sleeping with another man’s wife, Timescale lived a life of guilt and adopted vigils involving self-harm; “In Mr..
Damselfly’s secret closet, under lock and eye, there was a bloody scourge. Often times [he] had plied it on his own shoulders… It was his custom, too, as it has been that of many other pious Puritans, to fast” (Hawthorne 289-291). He both fasted and whipped himself, emulating devout Catholics. Timescale failed to open himself to help and choose other forms of repentance, making his choices additional bad stitches in the tapestry of his life.
Damselfly’s failure to realize that his poor decisions were leading him into a downward spiral and that there were ways to dig himself out of his grave, confirm In he reader his disreputable character. As mentioned before, Damselfly’s sin of adultery was kept quiet, as he never publicly confessed his actions, nor took responsibility for them. As the minister of the Boston, he was revered and admired by the entire town. Godly youth! ” said they among themselves. “The saint on Timescale wish to keep his high place in the social hierarchy that he refrained from publicly revealing his true character.
The narration comments on Damselfly’s practices saying, “And he himself, in so far as he shows himself in a false light… The only truth that continued to give Mr.. Timescale a real existence on this earth was the anguish in his inmost soul,” (293). The only truth was his anguish. The minister continued to struggle with himself, and after one night of his dangerous vigils, staggered to the scaffold on which Hester had stood years earlier, in an attempt at confession.
Pearl and Hester, coming back from an errand, Joined him and Pearl asked if he would stand with her and her mother at noontide. Damselfly’s reply disappointed her as he said, lay; not so, my little pearl! “… For, with the new energy f the moment, all the dread of public exposure, that had so long been the anguish of his life, had returned upon him… “Not so… ‘ shall, indeed, stand with thy mother and thee one other day, but not to-morrow’ (307). In this instance, Timescale disregarded his wishes to liberate his soul and once again refused to own his sin.
For some time, Timescale was patient and carried on with his life, but his patience slowly metamorphosed into cowardice, a despicable trait in a man. Further supporting the argument that Timescale was a hypocrite, is the fact that he reached prodigious sermons on the topic of morality and confession, but was unable to live up to their messages. Roger Chlorinating stated this to Hester, “his spirit lacks the strength that could have borne up, as thin has, beneath a burden like thy scarlet letter” (343).
Timescale could preach the consequences of sin, but could neither keep himself from sinning nor own up to his sin. When Hester was put onto the scaffold, Timescale spoke to her directly, as he was directed to do by the magistrates, in an effort to force her to speak of her sinner, and said, “Be not silent room any mistaken pity and tenderness for him… Though he were to step down from a high place, and stand there beside thee, on thy pedestal of shame, yet better were it so, than to hide a guilty heart through life… Thy silence … Impel him… To add hypocrisy to sin? ” (133). Timescale argued that if her lover were to step down from his high status onto the scaffold beside Hester, it would be better than for him to hide his sin for eternity. Yet, Timescale, the sinner, did not do this. Lastly, Timescale stated when meeting with Hester, “l should long ago have thrown off Hess garments of mock holiness, and have shown myself to mankind as they will see me at the Judgment-seat. Happy are you, Hester, that wear the scarlet letter openly upon your bosom!
Mine burns in secret! ” (383-385) and ultimately expressed to her his Jealousy towards her. He envied how public her sin was and stated that he was in agony because his scarlet letter burned in secret. Yet, he, coward and hypocrite that he was, refused to state his sin to the entirety of Boston. Reverend Arthur Timescale cannot have his cake and eat it too. His impotence was contemptible. As minister and leader of the town, he should have been able to remain strong and reinvent himself.
Some readers may argue that Roger Chlorinating, Hester husband, was the more abominable of the two, claiming that he wed Hester knowing she did not love him and that he did not love her, tormented both Hester and Timescale, and turned into a devil. In order to fully understand and empathic Ninth Chlorinating, the reader must consider things from his point of view, climb into money and security rather than for love. Many of these loveless marriages were successful. In addition, Clownishness’s “torments” towards Hester and Timescale Mere out of passion towards his wife.
He, like any other man, felt it necessary to remain close to his wife, regardless of the lack of love felt between them. Yes, Chlorinating did turn into a bit of a devil in the end, lusting after vengeance towards Timescale. But Timescale turned into a floppy, soggy, mush of fabric, unable to support himself. Chlorinating was still able to support himself, and properly chase after and acquire his goal. Timescale was not. In summation, Reverend Arthur Timescale was an objectionable character not only because of his rearward, but because of his hypocrisy, lack of moral fiber, and poor choices.
Ambrose Bierce, a Journalist in the sass caveats to his readers, saying “note the particulars in which one person or thing is, if possible, more objectionable than another. ” (“Think Exist”, 9). And as readers of The Scarlet Letter, we do Just that; the audience realizes the altogether disgraceful character of Timescale, a man whose life came apart at the seams because of love, but who, because of his poor choices, Nas unable to stitch his muddled tapestry back together. In many ways, The Scarlet Letter is actually Damselfly’s story, as the central struggle is his.