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
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
(125). Chillingworth was not always a bad man, as he says. Hester’s scandal and betrayal hurt Chillingworth deeply, to the point where he became evil and sought revenge. Chillingworth was humiliated, and Dimmesdale and Hester were the two people that had made him that way, which is why he sought
In The Scarlet Letter written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, contains a peculiar man named Roger Chillingworth who kills for revenge. In the same manner in Moby Dick written by Herman Melville Captain Ahab also sets his mind on revenge. These two men have a real desire to do what they think will make them right but actually puts them lower than others. Roger Chillingworth handles his situation with Dimmesdale quite interesting. Not only did he seek revenge on Dimmesdale, but he also wanted him to be dead.
“While thus suffering under bodily disease, and gnawed and tortured by some black trouble of the soul, and given over to the machinations of his deadliest enemy, the Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale…”(Hawthorne 97). Chillingworth tried very hard to hurt Dimmesdale, which made Dimmesdale suffer very much more than he would’ve if Chillingworth left him alone. Dimmesdale’s body slowly shut down by grief and being tortured, all because of the sin he committed. Essentially, Dimmesdale ended up dying because of the sin that was
Chillingworth throughout the novel commits himself to a life of revenge and willingly commits acts of evil; nevertheless, Chillingworth blames Hester and Dimmesdale for making him into a villain (Hawthorne 132; ch.14). Dimmesdale believes that Hester is lucky because she wears “the scarlet letter openly upon [her] bosom,” and he suffers because he hides his guilt (Hawthorne 148; ch.17); although, any time Dimmesdale wished, he could reveal himself as Hester’s fellow adulterer. Both Chillingworth and Dimmesdale believe that they are exempt from responsibility which leads the two towards their
Chillingworth and Dimmesdale formed a close relationship because Chillingworth believed that it was necessary for him to do so in order for him to try to cure Mr. Dimmesdale. Chillingworth began to show unkind qualities and became a thief of the riches that belonged to Mr. Dimmesdale. When Chillingworth asked Mr. Dimmesdale to reveal the wound and trouble in his soul in order for him to be healed, he lashed out at him and stormed off. Ultimately, Chillingworth had found Mr. Dimmesdale to be in a deep sleep
He is punished by Hawthorne for his hypocrisy. Hawthorne makes Chillingworth deformed, both physically and mentally. Chillingworth has been gnarled with age, but his mental condition is worse. He has turned into a man bent on revenge, with no regard for anything except sating his thirst for revenge. Chillingworth proceeds to lay blame of his own present deformities on Dimmesdale.
He becomes suspicious of a man named Arthur Dimmesdale and begins caring for the sick man. To the Puritan society, this is another act of kindness which makes them think he is even more respectful. In hopes to catch dimmesdale in a lie regarding to Pearl’s father, Chillingworth becomes so wrapped up in the reveal that Chillingworth’s appearance begins to change due to the amount of stress he is under. This begins to force the community to ask questions. “Now, there was something ugly and evil in his face, which they had not previously noticed…”
His family has a long standing history in Salem, as his relative John Hathorne was a judge in the Witch Trials. Soon after the trials a ‘w’ was added to the family’s last name to distance themselves from the horrors of the time (Nathaniel Hawthorne Biography). Set during
When Chillingworth first appears in chapter three, he is seen as an oddly dressed man with deformed shoulders. The people feel really bad for him as his wife had committed a crime against him. Hawthorne writes, “There was a remarkable intelligence in his features, as of a person who had so cultivated his mental part that it could not fail to mould the physical to itself, and become manifest by unmistakable tokens.” This shows to us that Chillingworth is seen as a good man. Hawthorne gives us signs early that Chillingworth is evil by placing him with indians who are seen as being wild.
After the death of Dimmesdale, Chillingworth loses all purpose he has to his life in the interest of exacting revenge upon Dimmesdale. Within a year, “All his strength and energy—all his vital and intellectual force—seemed at once to desert him; insomuch that he positively withered up, shrivelled away, and almost vanished from mortal sight, like an uprooted weed that lies wilting in the sun” (213). Vindictive people, who dedicate their lives to the destruction of others, often latch onto that revenge and rely on it as their only resource of any joy they can muster.
How could one man be so dark he goes and wants the devil instead of God. The last thing Chillingworth says is “What evil have I done this man” (16). This is referring to when he tortures him, but nobody knows. The irony of this statement is that he won 't be getting tortured later, but chillingworth will now have to have the evil about torturing
Roger Chillingworth first appeared “drooping down, as it were, out of the sky, or starting from the nether earth…” associated with deformity and mystery. Nathaniel Hawthorne uses diction and mass imagery to portray Chillingworth as a symbol for evil and a devilish figure. Chillingworth lived with Native Americans, from them he gained the knowledge of “miraculous cures”. These "miraculous cures" Hawthorne describes them as witchcraft, advancing the evil characteristic of Chillingworth.
Another statement that Hawthorne makes in this section is that Chillingworth will not find anything except for mortality and corruption, but these were the things that he sought (125). This is giving the reader more insight on Chillingworth and his obsession. Chillingworth’s plan to infiltrate Dimmesdale’s home as his personal caretaker was to search for the truth. The once wise man had transformed once his obsession took control of him. Chillingworth’s