Theme Of Chillingworth In The Scarlet Letter

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Every story with a protagonist must have an antagonist. In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, The character of Chillingworth portrays the stereotypical villain. He exuberates the proper qualities that a typical villain would have. Chillingworth unsightly appearance and actions reflect how the world sees him. as well Chillingsworth traits that make him a villain include vengeful, chilling, and vindictive. These traits both directly and indirectly affect the protagonists in The Scarlet Letter. Chillingsworth actions contribute to the scarlet letters theme of “suffering in silence” because of his relentless and vengeful attacks that promote despair. Chillingworth directly attacks Dimmesdale psychologically by “[p]rying into his recollections,…show more content…
Hester suffered in prison due to her crime of adultery. Hester saw Chillingworth while the crowd in the marketplace publicly punished and shamed her in which Chillingworth made Hester watch from the scaffold while “he slowly and calmly raised his finger, made a gesture with it in the air, and laid it on his lips" (Hawthorne 57). This action promoted Hester's silence to keep his identity a secret. Hester also suffered when a threat of Pearl, being taken out of her custody, became apparent and was to be given to Dimmesdale. She yelled and screamed in the courtroom, “I will not lose the child!” (Hawthorne 104). Hester most excruciating pain came from losing the custody of her child. During the period when Pearl’s custody was threatened to be given to Dimmesdale, Chillingworth then at this time was prescribed as Dimmesdale’s doctor. Hester knew what kind of torment Chillingworth would inflict upon Dimmesdale, which would be the infliction of more psychological pain. The occurrences of a threat towards Hester to lose custody of her child and her punishment for adultery were directly brought upon by Chillingworth. Hester did not love Chillingworth anymore and she could not love him ever . Her thought process on Chillingworth is why she committed adultery. Losing custody of Pearl was due to the punishment inflicted on her because of her disloyalty to
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