Finally a Truth comes out!

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"O Arthur," cried she, "forgive me!" In all things else, I have striven to be true!" Truth was the one virtue which I might have held fast, and did hold fast through all extremity; save when thy good, -thy life, - thy fame, - were put in question! Then I consented to a deception. But a lie is never good, even though death threaten on the other side! Dost thou not see what I would say? That old man! - the physician! - he whom they call Roger Chillingworth! - he was my husband!" (ch.17 p 160)

Finally a truth that has remained a secret throughout the story has come out. Hester has lived the past seven years exposing all secrets with the exception of her husband's true identity. For me if felt as though that heavy weight she had carried was lifted the moment she told him. Dimmesdale's health, being obviously affected by the secret he has kept and Chillingworth's torment, almost felt somewhat eased. Almost as if Chiliingworth's identity explained so much and gave Dimmesdale a chance to take a breathe. Not saying the situation was put to peace but just for a second, the rapid deterioration of the clergyman's health was explained.

The ability for Dimmesdale and Prynne to interact alone and be able to talk about anything they want or need must also help to ease the misery they both experience. For seven years Hawthorne has only given them the opportunity to interact among other people and forcing them to guard their words. It could have been easy for Hester to tell everyone in the Governor's house of the real father, when they tried to take Pearl but she still kept it secret.

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