Chillingworth's Loss Of Knowledge In Scarlet Letter

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The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is a novel about how being a sinner led to a life of misery during the Puritan era. Hester Prynne, the sinner, commits adultery with a man, Arthur Dimmesdale, who is not her husband. She gives birth to a child named Pearl and is branded with a scarlet letter “A”. Her husband, Roger Chillingworth, disguises as a physician in order to unravel the truth behind the crime that his wife committed and to get revenge on the man who slept with his wife. Although Chillingworth appears as a calm man who only craved knowledge, he eventually turns into a malicious devil who is blind with getting revenge. First of all, Chillingworth appears like a scholar-like man and is someone who cares more about knowledge …show more content…

One reason why he becomes evil is because he loses his home inside Prynne. As Chillingworth sees Prynne at the scaffold, he despairs in finding his “warmth and cheerfulness of home, set up as a type of sin before the people”(90). Even though Chillingworth preferred knowledge over relationships, he has hopes that Prynne will bring out emotion out of him. He expects that being with Prynne would allow him to have a place to call home and happiness. But as soon as he learns what happened, Chillingworth understands that he can no longer turn back time and stay by Prynne’s side. He realizes that the moment Prynne had that scarlet letter on her chest, he lost a place to call home. Because of this loss, he becomes furious at Dimmesdale and becomes obsessed with getting revenge. His reason for revenge led him to want to see Dimmesdale suffer for stealing his place and home by Prynne’s side. Another reason why Chillingworth holds malicious intents is because he is jealous of Dimmesdale. As Dimmesdale, Prynne, and Pearl stood together on the scaffold at night, “Chillingworth [has] passed with them for the arch-fiend, standing there with a smile and scowl to claim his own”(120). Although Chillingworth has a smile on his face, he also has a scowl. His scowling face represents his jealousy of Dimmesdale as he watches him, Prynne, and Pearl standing together. Seeing them together forces him to see that Prynne and he could never be a family with Prynne, like Dimmesdale. It fills him with jealousy toward Dimmesdale because he has something that Chillingworth can never get. The envy inside him causes Chillingworth to want to see Dimmesdale suffer. Finally, another reason why Chillingworth becomes vicious is because he has nothing left. He “made the very principle of his life to consist in the

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