In the book The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne portrays the transgressions of Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale and the consequences of adultery and revenge. Roger Chillingworth, a physician and the secret spouse of Hester, torments Dimmesdale to his death. There is a substantial amount of evidence that Chillingworth’s sin is greater than the minister’s; but in reality, Dimmesdale has committed the greater sin. The common perspective is that Chillingworth commits a tremendous sin by torturing Arthur Dimmesdale to the verge of death. The reverend claims that he has infringed, “the sanctity of a human heart,” (17.21).
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 a well educated man who was obsessed with being intelligent. To gain more knowledge he goes overseas to study and becomes shipwrecked, leaving his wife Hester alone. Hester assumes that has has died and has an affair with the minister of her town, Dimmesdale. He later comes back, unharmed and finds out about the affair. He then threatens to get his revenge upon Dimmesdale.
“I freely forgive you now. May God forgive us both! We are not, Hester, the worst sinners in the world.” (178-179). Due to his own sin, Dimmesdale understood what Hester was feeling and was able to rise above his anger and be merciful. If Chillingworth had been able to do the same and haf let go of his anger earlier, his fate might have been
He says that Pearl will never recognize him due to not ever meeting him throughout her life. In fact, the true father of Pearl is Arthur Dimmesdale, as this is the one who Hester allegedly committed adultery with thus becoming pregnant. After taking out a medicine that’ll be used to treat Pearl, Hester rejects it, showing that she rather have unfortunate things happen to her other than help. The relationship between Hester and Chillingworth so far is that they try to reach out to each other with their problems, especially from Chillingworth to Hester because she has suffered much more than him. Chillingworth calls Hester out to be a “foolish woman” for not accepting the offer, and asks for what reason he would ever harm a baby.
Not only does Hester feel bad for the pain she caused them, but she also has to live with the guilt that she can’t tell them the whole truth. She continues to hide the identity of the father from both Chillingworth and Pearl which makes life much harder for Hester. Hester says “What questions are those? There are so many things in this world that a child must not ask about. what no eye of the minister's heart?
Nathaniel Hawthorne creates allegory with his characters in his novel and short stories. The way that Hawthorne creates allegory with his characters us by showing their struggles with morals, their need and misinterpretation of love, and the effects of others opinions. Nathaniel Hawthorne uses his characters to symbolize a concrete object which is used to represent something more abstract (Dibble 37.) In the novel The Scarlet Letter we see multiple examples of struggles with morals. Dimmesdale is a prime example of someone who struggles with morals.
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.
Within a work of literature there may exists a pair of characters that rely on each other to express their traits in full. They are called foil and Arthur Dimmesdale and Robert Chillingworth are an example of this. Although the story centers around Hester there exists struggle between other individuals. Hawthorne wonderfully alludes to the doctrine of Satan accusing the sinner using these two characters and bring forth a suspenseful conflict. This is also called a juxtapose since they wonderfully contrast showing the extremes of character.
With reference to the theme of revenge it is depicted by means of darkness, since Chillingworth is the only character with true perverse nature, enough to be resembled with Satan. What is more, the darkest deed is the crime of passion committed by the lovers which induces a life of shame and alienation for Hester, and of secret torture and hypocrisy from Dimmesdale. Despite its efficiency, the author does not limit himself to the chiaroscuro technique to represent evil and goodness. The employment of the color red, both, as a symbol of love and integrity, or as one of vengeance fire and hell, might be identified along the lines of his