The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is, on many levels, a struggle between good and evil. Each character falls on the spectrum of good and evi. Arthur Dimmesdale, an agent of God, is the town’s most respected reverend.
He is a deeply moral man who regrets the sins he has committed. He practices self-mutilation to punish himself for an affair with a married woman, Hester Prynne. Hester wears the Scarlet Letter, said to be the mark of the Black Man, as a punishment for her sin. Pearl, her daughter, asks her mother, “IS there such a Black Man? And didst thou ever meet him? And is this his mark?” (170)