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Roger Chillingworth In The Scarlet Letter

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It is safe to assume that every human being has had to endure certain plights in their lifetime, some resulting easier to move on from than others; however, it’s how one manages to address these difficult situations that defines whether one survives and continues living plentifully, or withers in their own misery. In The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Roger Chillingworth arrives to the young North American colony of Boston to find his wife, Hester Prynne, on trial for adultery, carrying the progeny of her sin, Pearl, in her arms. Shortly after the trial, he sets out to annihilate Pearl’s father, Arthur Dimmesdale, which transforms him into something he himself had never believed to become. Roger Chillingworth is initially perceived as a respected, wise and penitent physician; however, as he seeks revenge against Dimmesdale, he solely dedicates himself to see the young magistrate suffer for his sin and loses his humane characteristics, leading him to feel empty and with lack of purpose after Dimmesdale’s death, which…show more content…
When Hester notices him from the scaffold she is publicly shamed from, she contemplates the “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” (Hawthorne 73). Chillingworth’s intelligence appears to be a very eminent aspect of his mien, as that is what Hester first notices after two years of not seeing her husband. Hawthorne further emphasizes the importance of Chillingworth’s intellect to his character by including that by noticing the “intelligence in his features”, it is clear to the eye that it has seen this character, proving that Chillingworth, at this early stage of the novel, is perceived as a
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