John Hathorne Quotes

1064 Words5 Pages

There’s always that one family member that nobody else likes. Whether it be that weird uncle, that crazy aunt, or that annoying cousin - almost everyone has one. Hawthorne, author of The Scarlet Letter, takes this idea to the extreme. John Hathorne was a judge during the Salem Witch Trials and the great-great grandfather of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Hathorne is also known to be the cruelest judge during the Salem Witch Trials - people began referring to him as “the hanging judge.” Knowing now that all of the accused witches were innocent because witchcraft didn’t exist, Hawthorne wanted absolutely nothing to do with his great-great grandfather. So, he changed his last name from Hathorne to Hawthorne in order to remove any association he could’ve possibly had with Hathorne. In other words, he did everything he could to change his …show more content…

Hawthorne even describes him as an “unhappy man had made the very principle of his life to consist in the pursuit and systematic exercise revenge…” (Hawthorne, 254). The phrase “unhappy man” proves that Hawthorne wants the reader to see Chillingworth in a negative way. This quote also proves to the reader that Chillingworth’s main goal in life is revenge. When one wants revenge against another as badly as Chillingworth wants revenge against Dimmesdale, they are so focused on said person that they don’t bother to take a look at themselves. Therefore, Chillingworth cannot grow as a person until he gives up on his revenge plans. Since he does not do this until Dimmesdale dies at the end of the story, Hawthorne holds Chillingworth in a negative light. The only time Chillingworth is viewed somewhat positively is when he leaves money for Pearl after he dies - which, interestingly, is the only moment when Chillingworth seemed to put aside his revenge after Dimmesdale had passed

Open Document