Hester Prynne’s personal growth through her shame and honesty contrasts Dimmesdale’s guilt and deterioration. Although he previously defied his religion through adultery, the reverend kept his sin a secret and continued to follow the strict beliefs of the Puritan society. When Hester was interviewed in front of the public, Dimmesdale made an ironic comment that “to stand there beside thee, on thy pedestal of shame, yet better were it so, than to hide a guilty heart through life” (65). This foreshadowed Dimmsdale’s future of pain due to internalization of his sins. As time goes on, the reverend became physically sick, described as “a symptom of some ailment in the spiritual part” (132). His conscience ate away at him and made him a sickly man, yet he continued to remain silent about his secret, claiming that “the judgment of god is on him”(193). When Dimmesdale finally reunited with Hester, he realized that his suffering was not worth Heaven’s mercy and he could no “longer live without her companionship,” leading him to finally confess his sin to the public eye and free himself (197-198). If Dimmesdale had admitted his sin like Hester from the start, he could have been saved from 7 years of internal guilt and sickness and grown to overcome the judgment of society.