How Does Chillingworth's Character Change Throughout The Scarlet Letter

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A person’s outward appearance often influences the way others perceive their character. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Roger Chillingworth arrives in the colony to find that his wife, Hester, is being punished for extramarital relations. As the storyline continues, Chillingworth acts as the colony’s physician, becoming very close to Dimmesdale and Hester Prynne. Consequently, Chillingworth’s desire for revenge guided his appearance and interactions with Hester Prynne and Dimmesdale, ultimately altering his character. Chillingworth’s appearance changes as he focuses more and more on avenging Dimmesdale’s actions. When Chillingworth first entered the Puritan community, he was “small in stature, with a furrowed visage” (Hawthorne, …show more content…

In chapter 4, Chillingworth is brought into the jail to examine Hester’s baby, Pearl. During this time, they talk of things that have happened since they last saw each other a. Most of the conversation is purely informational, and they maintain a surface relationship. This changes, however, when Hester and Chillingworth meet in the woods. They speak on a personal level and of their “promise of secrecy” within their relationship (Hawthorne, 1994, p. 117). Hester wants to reveal the secret, but Chillingworth wants to keep it concealed in order to torture Dimmesdale even more (Hawthorne, 1994, pp. 118-119). This shows the devious aspect of his character. The association between Chillingworth and Hester transitions from a professional to personal relationship as the truth of Chillingworth’s real intentions comes to the …show more content…

Originally, Chillingworth becomes very close with Dimmesdale. Then, he uses his position as physician to bring guilt upon Dimmesdale. Chillingworth asks him many questions, and Dimmesdale replies with “[why] call in a physician, and then hide the sore” (Hawthorne, 1994, p. 93). He shows a lot of “fierceness” and forcefulness to Dimmesdale in trying to get him to confess his sin with Hester(Hawthorne, 1994, p. 94). After several years, Dimmesdale decides to confess. As he does this, Chillingworth’s attitude towards Dimmesdale changes. Suddenly, Chillingworth does not want Dimmesdale to confess! He seeks “to snatch back his victim from what he [Dimmesdale] sought to do” (Hawthorne, 1994, p. 172). Basically, Chillingworth wants to keep Dimmesdale from confessing of Chillingworth’s pleasure. Through his interactions with Dimmesdale, Chillingworth shows the vengeful aspect of his

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