It can eat away at you until you finally confess. “Mr. Dimmesdale was a true priest, a true religionist, with the reverential sentiment largely developed, and an order of mind that impelled itself powerfully along the track of creed, and wore its passage continually deeper with the lapse of time,” (Hawthorne 112). Dimmesdale is full of guilt, because he is a leader of the community and was true to his religion, yet he still committed the substantial sin. Not only did he commit the sin, but he continues to keep it hidden from his community.
Arthur Dimmesdale and Roger Chillingworth are a set of character foils through their opposing physical descriptions, contrasting mental states, and their driving motivations throughout the novel. Chillingworth and Dimmesdale are made clear contrasting characters early on in the novel through their blatantly conflicting physical descriptions. Dimmesdale is introduced early on in the third chapter and is described as “ A person of very striking aspect with a white, lofty, and impending brow, large, brown, melancholy eyes, and mouth… expressing both nervous sensibility and a vast power of self restraint”
The two relationships can be contrasted as Hester loving Dimmesdale and Hester wanting nothing to do with Chillingworth. Hester loves Dimmesdale and wishes that he could replace the role that Chillingworth previously had. Hester wants nothing to do with Chillingworth and wishes he had never come back. She doesn’t like how much Chillingworth has changed and how he has an evil vengeance attitude. In the novel it is stated, “Art thou like the Black Man that haunts the forest round about us?
In the moment he sees her on the scaffold, he chooses to change his name and to never reveal his authentic identity. Instead, he uses the alias of a doctor named ‘Chillingworth’. Though not formally a doctor, his background in alchemy and knowledge of herbal remedies allow him to mislead the Puritans. He takes on the job of caring for the town reverend, Dimmesdale. Eventually, he learns this is the man who impregnated his wife, and Chillingworth begins to seek revenge.
Reverend Dimmesdale suffers a greater punishment than Hester by experiencing recurring guilt, physical harm, and Chillingworth’s torment. Dimmesdale experiences guilt after he commits adultery. As a devout Puritan minister, Dimmesdale preaches against sin. However, Dimmesdale contradicts his preaching and has an affair with Hester, a married woman. The novel begins with Hester standing on a scaffold for public shaming.
In Dimmesdale not confessing and facing a punishment in the eyes of the church as well as the townspeople, causing him to take to his own means, while Hester is able to face a punishment. Dimmesdale does what he believes is right for his punishment by doing acts that damaged his mind and body. Dimmesdale, in creating his own punishment, holds vigils that last all night, fasted to the point that he barely ate anything at all, beat himself, and lost the will to live. Dimmesdale's sin stays with him throughout the book, and the readers see his mind and body deteriorate through his mysterious sickness, while the readers see Hester become a closed off outcast trying to repent. The townspeople in the book see DImmesdale's sickness, and how devoted he is to his faith and begin to believe that he is holy, and an angel sent to sent to save them, while Hester has repented and become able, as well as an
The people strongly believed that Dimmesdale would confess his sins; they trusted him and thought he would never keep something from them. Dimmesdale only made the situation worse. By not telling them, they would lose their trust in him. Eventually, someone would find out, and his faithful congregation would stop attending his services since he had lost their trust. Another reason Dimmesdale should have confessed his sins was that Hester should not have to bear the burden of shame alone.
Her husband, Roger Chillingworth, who she believed dead, sought out revenge against the unknown father of Hester’s child. It is later revealed in the novel that the father of Hester’s child is the revered Reverend Dimmesdale. These characters each possess a fatal flaw that ultimately leads to their own distinctive downfall. Hester Prynne’s persistent attempt to make reparations for her sin leads to her losing her unique personality, Dimmesdale’s incapability to forgive his own guilt causes his mentality and health to crumble, and Roger Chillingworth’s desire for revenge overcomes his soul. Hester Prynne spends the length of the novel attempting to atone for her sin and shame, a feat that in turn subdues her vibrant personality.
The witch mistress, and the fact that Chillingworth was traveling with them, made him realize that he was committing a sin. He felt as if he was allying with the devil and he needed to come clean to the whole town. As he finished his sermon he told the people present about his sin, and also told chillingworth about his sins. I feel that his release from all the guilt gave him great peace and that’s why he died. Chillingworth died a year later and gave his properties to pearl in which hester and her took advantage of.
Inhyeok (Daniel) Lee Mr. Soldi CP English III October 17, 2014 Bloodthirsty Revenge portrayed through Roger Chillingworth In his novel Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne utilizes several allegories throughout the story. Allegory is a literary technique that Hawthorne uses to connect the characters with symbolic presences. It gradually builds up the tension between characters, and also arouses curiosity of readers. Furthermore, allegory strongly reveals the defect of the Puritan society and imperfection of all human beings by exposing abysmal agonies of each allegorical character coming from their intrinsic limits. Roger Chillingworth, the husband of Hester Prynne, is a good example of an allegorical character that shows the corruption