Chillingworth, like Dimmesdale, also believes that sinners should be held accountable and atone for their actions. However, this is where the similarities in their mindsets end. While Dimmesdale would plead for compassion for sinners, Chillingworth would rather publicly condemn and deface them. He often speaks of how Dimmesdale will one day face the consequences for his actions, but leaves the ghastly details of his plan for exposure mostly unknown. Chillingworth wants Dimmesdale, the sinner, to suffer to the extent that his will to continue living is destroyed and, when he’s at his lowest, unmask him publicly.
Chillingworth came to Boston to dig up who impregnated Hester. He seemed to have very little interest in Hester, his main goal was to find out the truth about Pearl’s father. As he does this, he twists the mind of Reverend Dimmesdale and becomes toxic. He becomes obsessed with trying to get vengeance on Dimmesdale for impregnating Hester. As the years go on, even the physical
Dimmesdale has the “A” of adulterer carved on his chest. Chillingworth experienced a “ghastly rapture” and, “at that moment of his ecstasy, he would have had no need to ask how satan comports himself when a precious human souls is lost to heaven,”. Subtle irony is used here to show how Chillingworth’s personality is being twisted due to his intense longing for the truth. Usually, when one learns the truth, one is flooded with emotions of relief and
In stories or real life, individuals are influenced by their life changing experiences whether it was huge or small. Nathaniel Hawthorne, the author of The Scarlet Letter, built and wrote the characters with positive and negative influences in the story. Throughout the story, Roger Chillingworth’s character reveals and changes because of the influences from revenge. Since he is Hester Prynne’s husband, Roger Chillingworth became the antagonist when he realizes his wife committed adultery. He decides to take revenge on the man who Hester loves.
Both his attitude and the result of his revenge describe the effects of a person’s vengeance. Not only did he slowly decompose the life of Dimmesdale, but after the death, he lost reason for living and died also. Though the reader could almost sympathize and possibly even side with Chillingworth at the beginning of the novel because of the adultery Hester committed, the Bible states that vengeance is not man’s, but God’s, and that a man should not return evil with evil. In Roman’s 12:19 God says, “Vengeance is Mine. I will repay,” and in Roman’s 12:21 the Bible says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Using a rhetorical question Dimmesdale asked “may God forgive thee” knowing what he did was wrong, taking full responsibility for what he did hoping that god would forgive him. Knowing one day he would because “God is merciful”. In this simple sentence Dimmesdale said a lot. Not only praying for his own forgiveness but for Chillingworth’s also. Praying that “thanks be to him who halted me hither” using this motif to constantly show that Dimmesdale was not mad at Chillingworth but thankful to him for forcing him into telling the truth and setting himself free.
After several years, Dimmesdale decides to confess. As he does this, Chillingworth’s attitude towards Dimmesdale changes. Suddenly, Chillingworth does not want Dimmesdale to confess! He seeks “to snatch back his victim from what he [Dimmesdale] sought to do” (Hawthorne, 1994, p. 172).
In the beginning, he spotted his wife, Hester Prynne on the scaffold with an unknown baby wrapped on her arms and the scarlet letter A pinned on her chest that caused him into a “man’s faculty of transforming into a devil” (130). As a husband of Hester, he will be obviously be enraged that another man was her lover. So Chillingworth decided to take revenge on Arthur Dimmesdale, the true father of baby Pearl, by becoming his physician and living under the same roof without him knowing he is the husband of Hester. Near the end, Chillingworth was enough of a devil to even lie to Dimmesdale by exclaiming “Do not blacken your fame, and perish in dishonor! I can yet save you!”
This occurs after multiple sources continually badgered and convinced Dimmesdale to seek aid for his appearance ailments, from Chillingworth who is the only practicing physician in town. Throughout the treatment the two men become good friends, sharing their different views on subjects, but also becoming more intimate with each other. Chillingworth believes that many physical illnesses stem from the mind and heart (“bosom”), so he must become acquainted with his patients thoughts, motives, and ethics. However, Chillingworth is depicted as a “treasure-seeker”, alluding to the notion that there might be other subjects he seeks to attain. The author's portrayal of Dimmesdale as a “dark cavern”, elicits that the man has blackened his bosom with sin, but also that Chillingworth must be careful in his probing or he may injure himself (lose Dimmesdale’s
Chillingworth came back into town and learned his wife had conceived a child with someone. He then made up his mind to find the other adulterer and seek revenge on him. When Chillingworth learned that Dimmesdale was the other adulterer, he did everything he could to make Dimmesdale feel worse. This crime was directed at causing pain and suffering to another, making this a terrible sin (“Who”). Chillingworth and Dimmesdale committed two completely different sins.
Chillingworth is the embodiment of everything wicked. Hawthorne uses anything possible to show him in that light. For example, his chosen name, Chillingworth, paints him from the beginning as an unlovable character. The first time he appears in the book we learn that “one of this man’s shoulders rose higher than the other,” giving him a “slight deformity” (42). With his malicious nature and devilish appearance, Chillingworth very clearly represents the Black Man.
Chillingworth is always portrayed as being in the dark which is deciphered as being within sin, and filled with guilt. Unlike other characters who have some light, Chillingworth has never been in the light, debunked to the reader that the sin within him has yet to be forgiven. Furthermore, this then gives him a thirst for revenge and propound will to not stop unless he has settled his
Hester is the biggest sinner throughout the romance and there is no reason to believe that Dimmesdale, or Chillingworth is. One main reason why Hester was the biggest sinner was because she was an adulteress to begin with. Toward the beginning of the book, the townspeople had accused her of having a baby with another man because the husband was nowhere to be seen. This is important because it ties into many other reasons as to why she is the biggest sinner.
Are they forgiven? Dalenberg 1 Should they be forgiven? There are many reasons On both sides whether they should be forgiven or not. Some say yes some no but which makes more sense and what answer has more info than the other.
This remark implies that Dimmesdale’s morality revolves around his self-conscience and what is right and wrong in the eyes of society and his social status as a clergymen. He demands Hester to exploit him for his actions in taking part of the adultery scenario with Hester. With respect to Kohlberg’s level of moral reasoning, he is at stage 4 “Maintaining the Social Order” for risking his entire reputation as a respected man in society over the action of one sin. Then, in Chapter 10 by now most of the Puritan society built suspicion of Chillingworth as a devil seeking to take ill Dimmesdale's soul. Since Chillingworth was first seen god like for his knowledge in medical care, he was truly valued by the Puritan society.