Past And Future In The Scarlet Letter

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Past and Future In the novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Roger Chillingworth uses contrasting tones and diction while communicating his view of his past and future with his spouse Hester Prynne. As a secret cuckold in a puritan community, Chillingworth can not go about life with Hester as he did before, nor does he want to. At the same time, he acts understanding of Hester 's adultery and even takes part of the blame, but he insists on having vengeance on her lover. Chillingworth initially admits to his faults for ruining Hesters youth. He says, “... having given my best years to feed the hungry dream of knowledge-- what had I do with youth and beauty like thine own!” (1). By saying this, Chillingworth is admitting that he stole Hester’s younger years, and instead of treasuring and celebrating them, he took them for granted and spent his time enlightening himself. By attempting to intellectually advance himself, he disfigured Hester’s dreams and future. In this statement Chillingworth is attempting to speak to Hester’s heart. In this moment, Hester is experiencing a lot of guilt. Not only she is being shamed for getting pregnant with a man who is not her husband, but she just finds out that her husband who has not been seen in years is alive. It is clear that Hester is going through a whirlwind of emotions and is very vulnerable to an emotional appeal and this noticed by Chillingworth. By taking the blame, Chillingworth assumes no consequence because no one
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