TSL Final Paper In the Scarlet Letter, both men in Hester’s life, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale and Roger Chillingworth, have complex motivations for the actions in which they partake throughout the novel. These motivations are mostly driven by sin; an archaic and taboo subject, especially in Puritanical New England, the setting for the story. Both Chillingworth and Dimmesdale have a tumultuous relationship with sin and have varying ideals of what sin itself is and how one should repent for enacting sin. They also have very different motivations derived from sin which is the driving force behind their decisions. Dimmesdale and Chillingworth have rather polarizing opinions on sin. Dimmesdale, as a Reverend, has a much more traditional view …show more content…
The societal view on sin in Puritanical colonial Massachusetts was that sin was inevitable, but should be avoided as often as possible and when committed should be repented for. Sin was going directly against the word of God and, based on the severity of the sin, it could possibly determine one’s place in the afterlife. Dimmesdale knows full well what is and isn’t sin, being a Reverend in Boston. Dimmesdale is tasked with dealing with others’ sins on a daily basis, and often has to help sinners repent. It is easy then to predict that Dimmesdale cares about sin when it comes to others as well, and might have empathy for the sinners despite the sins the enact. He knows what the sinners that come to him did wrong. However, Dimmesdale might not always agree with what society has ruled as sin. Dimmesdale, through his work with other sinners, has grasped the concept of humanity very thoroughly, and has …show more content…
He puts Hester in a no-win situation by questioning her like this. If she exposes him, he loses everything and becomes a social outcast but is released from his moral burden. Staying silent, however, keeps Dimmesdale in his position of power but also prolongs his suffering and misery. His selfish attitude towards his atonement is at odds with his otherwise cool and collected countenance, showcasing a very scared and vulnerable individual. Chillingworth, like Dimmesdale, also believes that sinners should be held accountable and atone for their actions. However, this is where the similarities in their mindsets end. While Dimmesdale would plead for compassion for sinners, Chillingworth would rather publicly condemn and deface them. He often speaks of how Dimmesdale will one day face the consequences for his actions, but leaves the ghastly details of his plan for exposure mostly unknown. Chillingworth wants Dimmesdale, the sinner, to suffer to the extent that his will to continue living is destroyed and, when he’s at his lowest, unmask him publicly. In his plot of vengeance, Chillingworth wants to systematically destroy the Reverend, not allowing him the closure of outing himself to the public. This cruel and unusual punishment shows just how far the infidelity of his wife has pushed him over the limit, possibly into the realm of
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His persona shifts from a “man of skill, the kind and friendly physician” to a man with “something ugly and evil in his face” (85+). The community believes that Chillingworth is in some form of Satan, and they believe Chillingworth was sent to test Dimmesdale’s faith. Chillingworth sparks an interest in the health of the young Reverend Dimmesdale and fulfills a “new purpose”. Chillingworth
Dimmesdale's guilt overtakes him. With the stress from the congregation viewing him as someone who is "holier-than-thou", and Mr. Chillingworth bating him, he becomes conflicted with his feelings of sinfulness and feels the need to keep this a secret from the congregation. The more his guilt overtakes him, the better his sermons got. Because he is so overwhelmed with remorse and shame his sermons have become famous. he connects more with the audience because he believes that he is more sinful than they are.
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.
And the shame!—the indelicacy!—the horrible ugliness of this exposure of a sick and guilty heart to the very eye that would gloat over it!” , thus presenting verbal abuse. He then guilts her into apologizing for not revealing that Chillingworth was her husband until then, by saying, “Woman, woman, thou art accountable for this!—I cannot forgive thee!”. Dimmesdale went further in putting down the images of others by immediately adding how awful he viewed Chillingworth, saying that he “has violated, in cold blood, the sanctity of a human heart” and implying that Chillingworth was “the worst sinner in the
What you wouldn’t expect is that as he becomes weaker and in some cases more suspicious his relationship to the people actually becomes stronger. Roger Chillingworth who plays the role of the doctor sent within impeccable timing to restore their beloved Reverend’s health actually becomes a man of suspicion. Chillingworth is perceived as more of a mischievous character since he spends less and less time away from the Reverend and they never seem to be apart. Their biggest topic of discussion is the frequent disputes of guilt and secrets and whether they should be shared and taken responsibility
Does lying to a community make a person feel better as a sinner? Does acting to a community help hide one’s true self? Arthur Dimmesdale, a hypocrite, depends on lying to survive. He loves but cannot show it in public; he is depressed but tries to hide his pain within his sermons. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s
This is significant to the novel’s plot structure as Chillingworth was the main antagonist in the book. His identity being so tightly packed around his desire for revenge affected the sequence of events in the book. It tore Dimmesdale apart eventually leading to his death, and Chillingworth’s death as well, which were two major events in the novel. An important message is conveyed in these events: Your own identity and sense of self has the potential to affect others.
Mentally, his guilt strains his mind, which causes his physical deterioration, and the weakening of his body. As Dimmesdale finally admits his sin to the townspeople, his guilt is lifted, and he is able to release himself from his captivity. Though he deteriorated both mind and body from his guilt, by telling the townspeople of his sin, it was as if “a spell was broken” (238). He no longer needed to force himself to hide his sin, which was what was hurting him. By finally dealing with his sin in a similar way to Hester, Dimmesdale was able to free himself of his self-imposed captivity and
Chillingworth wants him to live with guilt the rest of his life. Chillingworth doesn’t even love Hester anymore, but he continues to torture Dimmesdale because he wants him to live with guilt the rest of his life. Chillingworth is an evil character that seems worse than Dimmesdale. Even though Chillingworth didn’t commit the crime
and yet he ambitiously seeks further torture. As his antipathy amplified, Chillingworth perpetually imbued Dimmesdale with a fiery warmth of regret for the scandalous iniquity he had wrongfully commit; Yet, Chillingworth’s “righteous” acts are not righteous at all, in fact he commits sin tenfold that of Dimmesdale just through these acts. Chillingworth poses himself as a kind man attempting to heal the Reverend, but this is a lie, a lie directly to the face of God. Chillingworth does not care for the health of the Reverend, his true underlying intentions are to seek information from
Dimmesdale’s True Colors Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, also the father of Hester’s child, showed prominent parts of his character throughout the story. The first trait the reader becomes aware of is Dimmesdale’s cowardice. He has no intentions of revealing his sin to the public, due to how highly he is seen in the community’s eyes. Remorse, or guilt, is another term that can be associated with Dimmesdale, growing increasingly more prominent as the novel goes on. Cowardice, a lacking of bravery when facing danger, was a trait that Dimmesdale carried.
The narrator states, "Arthur Dimmesdale gazed into Hester's face with a look in which hope and joy shone out, indeed, but with fear betwixt them, and a kind of horror at her boldness, who had spoken what he vaguely hinted at, but dared not to speak" (Hawthorne 138). Nevertheless, his moral development continuously stays at Stage 1 "Obedience and Punishment Orientation" because yet again his actions are selfish. He is more considerate about his
Dimmesdale had achieved a brilliant popularity in his sacred office. He won it, indeed, in great part by his sorrows. (Hawthorne 128) The guilt of his sin has eaten him alive, so much that his visage and demeanor are almost cadaverous. Dimmesdale does not confess his sin until the end of the novel because he does not want to disappoint his congregation.
Chillingworth shows no restraint in persecuting Dimmesdale to achieve his ends. When he arrives in the town he finds that a man has committed adultery with his wife, which “[leads] him to imagine a more intimate revenge than any mortal had ever wreaked upon an enemy.” From that moment, Chillingworth swears to exact his retribution. He forms a plan which will only satisfy his selfish desire to destroy the man that wronged him.
Chillingworth came back into town and learned his wife had conceived a child with someone. He then made up his mind to find the other adulterer and seek revenge on him. When Chillingworth learned that Dimmesdale was the other adulterer, he did everything he could to make Dimmesdale feel worse. This crime was directed at causing pain and suffering to another, making this a terrible sin (“Who”). Chillingworth and Dimmesdale committed two completely different sins.