The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, uses the relentless character, Mr. Roger Chillingworth, to describe the result of being resentful and unforgiving to his wife’s secret lover, Reverend Dimmesdale. Chillingworth is the character who represents the definition of evil in the novel. The Scarlet Letter also vividly describes how Chillingworth became self-absorbed with vengeance and how vengeance changed him for the worst. Throughout the novel, The Scarlet Letter gives evidence of a clear picture of a life consumed by vengeance resulting in obsession over committing evil acts which leads to Chillingworth self-destruction. In the Scarlet Letter the definition of vengeance based off of Chillingworth’s character is the act of recovering …show more content…
He says to Hester, “Mine was the first wrong, when I betrayed thy budding youth into a false and unnatural relation with my decay. Therefore, as a man who has not thought and philosophized in vain, I seek no vengeance, plot no evil against thee. Between thee and me, the scale hangs fairly balanced. But, Hester, the man lives who has wronged us both! Who is he?” (pg. 70). Later on, Chillingworth vows seek her lover, “I shall seek this man, as I have sought truth in books,” Chillingworth vows to Hester. “Sooner or later, he must needs be mine!” (pg.70). Hester realizes that Chillingworth means to enact revenge, saying, “thy acts are like mercy...but thy words interpret thee as a terror!” (pg.71). A terror is exactly what this lust for revenge makes Roger Chillingworth. As the novel progresses, we watch as he is devoured by his own vengeance and need to tear Dimmesdale …show more content…
He was once a thoughtful man, wanting little for himself, but now she tells him that he is an evildoer, bent on Dimmesdale's destruction. She says, “You search his thoughts. You burrow and rankle in his heart! Your clutch is on his life, and you cause him to die daily a living death.” (pg.154). Chillingworth has a helpless victim, who doesn’t even realize who Chillingworth is yet, and he exercises his power over the minister with great enthusiasm. When Hester meets him in the forest, Chillingworth has a blackness in his visage and a red light showing out of his eyes, as if “the old man's soul were on fire, and kept on smoldering duskily within his breast.” (pg.153). In seeking vengeance, he has taken on the devil's job. His obsession with revenge is what makes him the worst sinner and, therefore, a pawn of the devil so, it’s ironic that Hester meets him in the dark forest, a place the Puritans see as the home of the Black
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
Roger Chillingworth is speaking to Hester in this quote about how much her cheating affected him. Since the author did not give very much information about Roger before he returned to Boston, it was difficult to measure exactly how he had changed since learning of the scarlet letter. Through his previous words and actions regarding Hester and especially Reverend Dimmesdale, Roger depicts himself as a man filled with hatred and focussed on revenge. Before mentioning his old self, Roger Chillingworth told Hester about Reverend Dimmesdale’s suffering since he had become somewhat of his personal physician. Roger says that the reverend sensed “an eye was looking curiously into him,” which, undoubtedly, represents the presence of Roger Chillingworth,
Following Dimmesdale’s death, “all [of Chillingworth 's] strength and energy… and intellectual force seemed at once to desert him… and almost vanished from mortal sight” (Hawthorne 212), as his own death quickly proceeds within a year. When the source of evil that he leeches off of disappears, Chillingworth’s life begins to disintegrate, as he lacks further purpose to survive due to his loss of humanity. His obsession with obtaining revenge eventually forces him to lose control of his own fate, as it becomes dependent on Dimmesdale’s actions. Since Chillingworth devoted his life to seeking revenge on Dimmesdale, without a mortal target, his existence becomes meaningless. In an effort to assert control and prolong his own life, Chillingworth tries to terminate Dimmesdale’s public confession.
Roger Chillingworth committed the greater sin in the Scarlet Letter. Chillingworth was a malicious man. After the news that Hester had committed adultery, he became more and more like the “Black Man.” He lied about being a doctor and his identity. Additionally, Chillingworth was the overall cause for Dimmesdale’s death, after seven years of torturing his mind.
Hawthorn Uses revenge to illustrate Chillingworth's decline of death. Roger Chillingworth has one main reason to get revenge and that reason is Dimmsdale, the Minister who stole his wife. Roger Chillingworth has spent 7 years of his life he will never get back just to get revenge on Dimmesdale who at the moment could care less as long as he is innocent in all of this. Chillingworth is wanting revenge more than anything in the world, His face has become as terrible looking as his soul just trying to get revenge, revenge is aging him very quickly and had caused Roger to look like a demon. Roger Chillingworth is doing everything is his power to try to get Dimmsdale to tell his big secret but Dimmesdale is doing everything is his power to keep
The Scarlet Letter In The Scarlet Letter by Daniel Hawthorne many villainous acts occur that contribute to the plot and direction of the text. One antagonist in the novel is Chillingworth, the “departed” husband of Hester Prynne. Chillingworth and his constant mission to gain his wife's love and to reveal the father with whom Hester's baby was conceived by leads him to take some villainous actions. Chillingworth took many actions to obtain his goals, examples of this are constantly exemplified throughout the novel, one example is Chillingworth’s unrelenting hatred towards Dimmesdale.
(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
and yet he ambitiously seeks further torture. As his antipathy amplified, Chillingworth perpetually imbued Dimmesdale with a fiery warmth of regret for the scandalous iniquity he had wrongfully commit; Yet, Chillingworth’s “righteous” acts are not righteous at all, in fact he commits sin tenfold that of Dimmesdale just through these acts. Chillingworth poses himself as a kind man attempting to heal the Reverend, but this is a lie, a lie directly to the face of God. Chillingworth does not care for the health of the Reverend, his true underlying intentions are to seek information from
A quote in the novel exposes the outcome of sin committed among the characters, “…relieve the darkening close of a tale of human frailty and sorrow,” (Hawthorne, 1850, p. 60). Through Dimmesdale’s self-torment, the reader is able to recognize the amount of guilt he feels from the affair. It was a crime of passion, and the sin he committed in his moment of weakness ultimately led to his destruction. Chillingworth is instrumental in expressing another theme, the lust for revenge is due to his “hatred, by a gradual and quiet process…a continually new irritation of the original feeling of hostility,” (Hawthorne, 1850, p. 256). Chillingworth’s one-sided intentions get him nowhere and being drowned in hatred ultimately leads to his death.
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.
Chillingworth’s guilt results in the degradation of his physical and mental demeanor, which ultimately turns him into a figure of evil. Chillingworth faces a multitude of problems, but the concealed guilt transforms his body and changes his physiognomy for the worse. Originally, Chillingworth is portrayed as an innocent man with great knowledge, but after some time the studious nature that offered Hester a reason to accept his proposal changed, for the, “former aspect of an intellectual and studious man... had altogether [vanish],”(Hawthorne 145), which portrays the first inclination into the physical deformities of Roger Chillingworth after torturing Dimmesdale. What was once an innocent man free of guilt, is now a demonic person with the intent of revenge.
Roger Chillingworth plays an important role to the plot of the novel The Scarlet Letter. He is more of a symbol rather than a main character throughout the entire novel. This is due to the fact that he represents how all Puritans should act, at least on the surface. While he is becoming part of a community, he is also planting revenge on Hester and her lover. At first his plot was to reveal Hester’s lover, but that plot turned him into something more vile and evil than before.
While both Chillingworth and Dimmesdale were living together so Chillingworth can conduct laboratorial exams, the narrator makes
He disappeared for a period of time and Hester didn´t know if he was even alive. All this time Chillingworth had been captured by Indians and was living with them. When he came back to Boston, Chillingworth finds Hester on the scaffold holding a baby that´s not his and wearing a scarlet “A” on her chest. Chillingworth talks to Hester and asks her who is the child´s father, but Hester refuses to tell him. In that moment Chillingworth swears revenge, but not towards Hester, since he thinks that the scarlet letter and Pearl is punishment enough and that she has received what she deserves.
The narrator portrays him as an intelligent but angry old man that does not have any interest in his wife any longer unless it is plotting revenge. One theme in this chapter is something that can slowly destroy people mentally, guilt. The irony that took place in this story is that Chillingworth is trying to find the father of his wife's child. The main theme in chapter three and four is obeying the law of the people and if failed to be done it will end in punishment. Journal Entry 3: Chapters 5-6 For the rest of Hester’s life she will be forced to wear a red embroidered “A” at all times on her clothes.
Roger Chillingworth, in effort to dismantle Dimmesdale’s life, has continuously lost social wealth for the seven revengeful years. Most importantly, he put incredible concentration on revenge that he even lost his once-beloved wife. In fact, Chillingworth not only lost the love of Hester, but also gained hatred from Hester. In the end, Roger Chillingworth is worth nothing more than a social outcast who lost true and peaceful relationships with people, and even obtained hatred from his own wife. Through this allegory, Hawthorne teaches his readers that revengeful purpose in life can drive oneself out of the healthy social life.