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.
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
When Chillingworth first arrives into town he claims to be a doctor, by saying this he has to take room with Dimmesdale, to nurse him back to health. Chillingworth's living arrangement leads to the revelation of Dimmesdale's secret. When the truth is revealed the start of Chillingworth's torturous act upon Dimmesdale begins.
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
A quote in the novel exposes the outcome of sin committed among the characters, “…relieve the darkening close of a tale of human frailty and sorrow,” (Hawthorne, 1850, p. 60). Through Dimmesdale’s self-torment, the reader is able to recognize the amount of guilt he feels from the affair. It was a crime of passion, and the sin he committed in his moment of weakness ultimately led to his destruction. Chillingworth is instrumental in expressing another theme, the lust for revenge is due to his “hatred, by a gradual and quiet process…a continually new irritation of the original feeling of hostility,” (Hawthorne, 1850, p. 256). Chillingworth’s one-sided intentions get him nowhere and being drowned in hatred ultimately leads to his death.
Chillingworth seeks revenge but doesn't quite know how to go about it. The minister feels something negative is coming his way, but does not suspect it to come from a trusted colleague. One gesture that I believe foreshadows the presence of something beneath Dimmesdale’s vestment is when he would often grab his chest in stressful experiences would arise. One example from the text
“Why, then, had he come hither? Was it but the mockery of penitence? A mockery, indeed, but in which his soul trifled with itself. He had been driven higher by the impulse of that Remorse which dogged him everywhere” (Hawthorne 138) here dimmesdale can 't face the justice of what he has done wrong which is why the author called him a coward and is the reason why he kept his secrets because he is a coward to admit it to and face the consequences which is why later the guilt of keeping them eats him from the inside.
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.
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.
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.
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
Because of the effects that Dimmesdale’s sin has on Chillingworth, the town suffers as well. The betrayal of their pastor leads them to refuse to see the truth when he pleads for the public to see his guilt at the end of the novel, and his secrecy from the people that adore him is one of the slyest and vile parts of his sin. The blind faith that the public has in their reverend is mislead by his deceit, which causes his sin to grow to a scale that Hester’s never did. Dimmesdale also harmed Pearl, by not standing with her and Hester on the day they were condemned. When she is grown, she asks, “Doth
In Dimmesdale not confessing and facing a punishment in the eyes of the church as well as the townspeople, causing him to take to his own means, while Hester is able to face a punishment. Dimmesdale does what he believes is right for his punishment by doing acts that damaged his mind and body. Dimmesdale, in creating his own punishment, holds vigils that last all night, fasted to the point that he barely ate anything at all, beat himself, and lost the will to live. Dimmesdale's sin stays with him throughout the book, and the readers see his mind and body deteriorate through his mysterious sickness, while the readers see Hester become a closed off outcast trying to repent. The townspeople in the book see DImmesdale's sickness, and how devoted he is to his faith and begin to believe that he is holy, and an angel sent to sent to save them, while Hester has repented and become able, as well as an
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).
He knows that if he reveals what he has done, then his followers will lose their respect for him. He is burdened with his sin; therefore, he inflicts pain upon himself for his wrongdoing. Dimmesdale goes as far as having vigils all night, being tortured by “diabolic shapes,” and emaciating and whipping himself. Dimmesdale punishes himself because he wants to repent for the sin that he has committed.