In The Scarlet Letter by Daniel Hawthorne many villainous acts occur that contribute to the plot and direction of the text. One antagonist in the novel is Chillingworth, the “departed” husband of Hester Prynne. Chillingworth and his constant mission to gain his wife's love and to reveal the father with whom Hester's baby was conceived by leads him to take some villainous actions. Chillingworth took many actions to obtain his goals, examples of this are constantly exemplified throughout the novel, one example is Chillingworth’s unrelenting hatred towards Dimmesdale. Other examples of Chillingworth's villainous acts consist of his hidden identity, his guilt trip use towards Hester, and overall his relentless pursuit for revenge. In the actions taken by Chillingworth he swayed the outcome of the novel.
Dimmesdale and Chillingworth both have secrets that make them look and act differently, their secrets affect their character and how they do their job. Dimmesdale is the father of Pearl but he doesn 't want to face the same humiliation as Hester did for his sins. Because of his secret he self punishes and fasts, he also preaches better than he did before although his health is failing. Chillingworth’s secret is that he was the husband of Hester while he was away, before she cheated on him. Chillingworth gets uglier and uglier driven by the need to get revenge on Pearl’s father. Both characters affect others and their own lives good and bad because of the secrets they keep.
Following Dimmesdale’s death, “all [of Chillingworth 's] strength and energy… and intellectual force seemed at once to desert him… and almost vanished from mortal sight” (Hawthorne 212), as his own death quickly proceeds within a year. When the source of evil that he leeches off of disappears, Chillingworth’s life begins to disintegrate, as he lacks further purpose to survive due to his loss of humanity. His obsession with obtaining revenge eventually forces him to lose control of his own fate, as it becomes dependent on Dimmesdale’s actions. Since Chillingworth devoted his life to seeking revenge on Dimmesdale, without a mortal target, his existence becomes meaningless. In an effort to assert control and prolong his own life, Chillingworth tries to terminate Dimmesdale’s public confession. Ironically, his desire to punish Hester’s partner ultimately leads to his self destruction as a result of his obsession with seeking revenge to protect his pride. In a sense, Chillingworth’s fated downfall is used to highlight Hester’s strength and courage through their dramatic
Although his actions and decisions seem to be bad, the character gets sympathized for his internal struggles. Afraid of revealing his sin to the public shows his lack of courage. A reason for this lack of courage is due to puritan beliefs. The puritans had religious exclusiveness that was the foremost principle of their society. The Puritans were strict and had punishments for everything especially adultery. In chapter 3 , “The Recognition”,Dimmesdale pleads Hester to tell who the partner in the sin was but she refuses. “She will not speak!” murmurs Mr. Dimmesdale, who was leaning over the balcony, with his hand upon his heart …” This quote shows how Dimmesdale is accusing Hester of not admitting who sinned with her when he did not. The placement of Dimmesdale 's hand over his heart later on is revealed that he has a his own letter carved in his chest. By putting his hand on his chest he is reminded of his cowardice for letting Hester take the full blame of infidelity. During the years Dimmesdale becomes tormented by the dichotomy between what he is and what people believe him to be. His parishioners are "hungry for the truth" and listen to his words as if "a tongue of Pentecost were speaking!". Even though the people listen to him and believe everything he says he still lacks the courage to tell them his sin. He bears his shame alone. This shows that Dimmesdale suffers from his reputation with his society but also shows his cowardness. Dimmesdale was becoming more popular His hypocrisy shows from the beginning when he calls Hester out for not talking the truth but he himself is too scared to tell due to how he is viewed in this society. He can 't be classified as evil or purely
Literature has been around for many ages. There are many different types of literature fro. many different times. The way people write has changed throughout the years. American literature is commonly talk about because it is well liked, although sometimes it can be hard to understand if you are currently a student. There is nothing quite like the stories that were written in this time. The Devil and Tom Walker, The devil and Daniel Webster, The Man in the Black Suit, and The Scarlet Letter all things in common because they all describe the devil in a special way along with authors of the stories were all men.
Dimmesdale attempts to inform his congregation of his terrible sin: “He had told his hearers that he was altogether vile, a viler companion of the vilest, the worst of sinners, an abomination, a thing of unimaginable iniquity... They [his congregation] heard it all, and did but reverence him the more” (114). Dimmesdale truly reveals the fact of his unholiness, but fails to reference any details to his congregation. They paint him in an even holier light, and understand that only a true saint like Dimmesdale can call himself unholy in this way. However, Dimmesdale’s conscience is wrecked, because he is unable to reveal his sin, despite his multiple public attempts, and his anguish lingers. Similarly, Dimmesdale envies the closure that Hester’s punishment has brought her: “‘Happy are you, Hester, that wear the scarlet letter openly open your bosom! Mine burns in secret!’” (151). In this dialogue, Dimmesdale articulates how differently their sin has been treated. In Hester’s case, public punishment initially brought disapproval, but eventually led her to charity and a general acceptance by members of the society. However, Dimmesdale’s strong conscience will not rest while his sin goes unpunished, leaving him with a burning desire for both penalty and disclosure. It is illustrated that Dimmesdale’s conscience is plagued after his sin, and this distress intensifies once he learns of Hester’s new place in society, as a matronly figure. Dimmesdale’s hiding of sin and internalization of guilt damages his conscience and tears apart his
He was the last person that people would think as a sinner. Dimmesdale was sin when he was committed adultery with Hester. He broke the law of church, but he was afraid to face the punishment and indifferent attitude from he masses. As a faithful follower, Dimmesdale also afraid the punishment of God, so he flog himself with a whip. The physical and spiral torture and the control of Chillingworth stranded him in a world that he cannot contact with others. As the moving of story, the “side effect” of the hidden sin has reveal. Dimmesdale become more sick and powerless. As the end of the story, Dimmesdale concede the sin and died as the winner of the fight with hidden sin. Dimmesdale as a combination of saint and sinner, his sin is not committed adultery, but it is that he cannot face the sin and admit it. He wanted to be all perfect in the eyes of the masses, but destroyed his perfectly in the eyes of God. In our life, lots of people were trying to get all perfect, but eventually make it was worse. Dimmesdale elucidate the consequence of the hidden
The reader is especially made aware of Dimmesdale's mental state in the eleventh chapter, “His inward trouble drove him to practices more in accordance with the old, corrupted faith of Rome, than with the better light of the church in which he had been born and bred” . This suggests that he is racked with immense guilt and shame at the falsehood he is living and suggests that he is physically abusing himself as a result of this guilt. This directly contradicts Chillingworth's mental state of fury and vengeance that he falls deeper into as the story progresses. These two characters also hold striking incongruities as to what drives them onward as the account
At first Chillingworth is portrayed through the introduction as a civil man, almost feel sorry for him for the fact that his wife cheated on him, and that she is now imprisoned, Hester even calls him, “the Black Man that haunts the forest round about [the town],”(Hawthorne 94), however, these words foreshadow the dive to insanity Chillingworth later takes after he sets his sights on revenge. Although Chillingworth’s arrival to Massachusetts is not a happy one, the reader can’t feel bad for Chillingworth because during his conversation with Hester, Chillingworth didn’t approach Hester with the intent on being a good husband, but rather as a physician. The lack of love Chillingworth displays to Hester, sheds light onto the how riddled with guilt Chillingworth really is, the mere opposition to comfort her, provides Chillingworth’s first step towards his mental downfall. Some people may argue that Chillingworth never saw a downfall into his own mental state, and that he was passing the punishment that Dimmesdale had deserved. However, the punishments that Dimmesdale was receiving was more torture than anything else, which exemplifies the civility he has lost. Upon Chillingworth’s arrival to the forest to discuss with Hester the matters of Dimmesdale, Chillingworth is already portrayed as a villainous
Throughout the novel, The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne keeps his main focus on the character’s development and how they change/grow throughout the novel. Reverend Dimmesdale was a crucial character all throughout this novel. Dimmesdale, among other characters, showed much change, referring to the way he began to react towards other citizens, and growth, referring to his outcome at the end of the novel. There was abundant self-hate, irony, and guilt within Dimmesdale. Reverend Dimmesdale was a leader of the community, but also a sinner. He put on a different face for the citizens because he was a leader, but in reality he should have not been a leader.
Dimmesdale starts living with Chillingworth so the doctor can keep the feeble minister ‘healthy’; the doctor, reversely, tries to make Dimmesdale feel conflicted about his morals which leads to Dimmesdale obsessively whipping himself “...on his own shoulders” and“...fast[ing]...in order to purify [his] body… rigorously...until his knees trembled beneath him[self]...” (132). He is enveloped in his sin, and cannot escape it unless he tells the truth. In fact, Dimmesdale could not stop thinking about his sin which “...continued to give Mr. Dimmesdale a real existence [which] was the anguish in his inmost soul” (133). All that Dimmesdale has to live for his life is serving out his sentence; this is where, Dimmesdale must make a huge decision on whether he should conceal sin, or let his words roam free. When the minister is able to go into the forest, which is a place unlike Puritan society, he is able to talk with Hester, which lets him become his true self: where he is able to come out to the public of his
Fatal flaws have been shown in works of literature throughout the centuries, causing the destruction of many characters. In the novel, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, three of the main characters each have a fatal flaw. The novel, set in Puritan Boston between 1642-1679, tells the story of Hester Prynne through third person narrative. Hester begins her journey in the novel when she is brought from jail for her punishment in having an affair with someone in the town, resulting in her pregnancy. Her husband, Roger Chillingworth, who she believed dead, sought out revenge against the unknown father of Hester’s child. It is later revealed in the novel that the father of Hester’s child is the revered Reverend Dimmesdale. These characters each possess a fatal flaw that ultimately leads to their own distinctive downfall. Hester Prynne’s persistent attempt to make reparations for her sin leads to her losing her unique personality, Dimmesdale’s incapability to forgive his own guilt causes his mentality and health to crumble, and Roger Chillingworth’s desire for revenge overcomes his soul.
The townspeople who see the red A in the sky interpret it as a sign of respect for Governor Winthrop. They believe that since he passed that night, they believe the A stood for the word Angel.
Every story with a protagonist must have an antagonist. In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, The character of Chillingworth portrays the stereotypical villain. He exuberates the proper qualities that a typical villain would have. Chillingworth unsightly appearance and actions reflect how the world sees him. as well Chillingsworth traits that make him a villain include vengeful, chilling, and vindictive. These traits both directly and indirectly affect the protagonists in The Scarlet Letter. Chillingsworth actions contribute to the scarlet letters theme of “suffering in silence” because of his relentless and vengeful attacks that promote despair.
Dimmesdale’s consistent denial of his sin protects him from public judgment but ultimately proves worse for his soul. As Hester stands upon the scaffold, treading water in a sea of disparaging Puritan faces, her