When Chillingworth first arrives into town he claims to be a doctor, by saying this he has to take room with Dimmesdale, to nurse him back to health. Chillingworth's living arrangement leads to the revelation of Dimmesdale's secret. When the truth is revealed the start of Chillingworth's torturous act upon Dimmesdale begins.
(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
Then, and there, before the judgment seat, thy mother, and thou, and I must stand together. But the daylight of this world shall not see our meeting!" (Hawthrone 277). This reply Dimmesdale gives to pearl when she asks him why he cannot stay with his mother and her together shows that even though Dimmesdale feels guilt and wants to make things right with Pearl and Hester. However, he still has a constant fear of what the public would think of him and the fear of losing his position in the church/society.
Dimmesdale, despairing of life, told Chillingworth that “[he] could be well content, that [his] labors, and [his] sorrows, and [his] sins, and [his] pains, should shortly end with [him], and what is earthly of them be buried in [his] grave”(83).
When Chillingworth figures out why Hester is standing as a statue of ignominy, he decides to choose revenge against Hester and the person she committed sin with because public shame isn’t enough for him. “As he spoke, he laid his long forefinger on the scarlet letter which seemed to scorch into Hester’s breast, as if it had been red-hot. He noticed her involuntary gesture and smiled. He said, live therefore, and bear about thy doom with thee, in the eyes of men and women - in the eyes of him thou didst call thy husband - in the eyes of yonder child!”(61). When Chillingworth was still inquiring about Hester’s lover, he wanted to know what was going on with Dimmesdale.
Chillingworth’s mostly connected to “the black man”: the devil, someone the puritans would like to stay away from and avoid. In the puritan society, “the black man” is described as someone with “something in [their] heart is sealed away; and it is the ability to sacrifice oneself for the good of others” which Chillingworth certainly has as the emotional struggle [of being depressed from his wife’s affair] in which Chillingworth is concealed because he’s way too focused on revenge, that he’s detached from ordinary human pursuits. This example can be shown when Chillingworth rips Dimmesdale’s shirt open and the many sickening prescribed medicines he treats Dimmesdale with. One can even say Chillingworth is portrayed as an impenitent; he senses a need for spiritual philosophy
In Hawthorne's novel The Scarlet Letter, Dimmesdale’s cowardice makes him responsible for his own and the other main characters suffering. Dimmesdale is responsible for his own misery. Cowardice is the reason for Dimmesdale’s suffering. Why he doesn't admit to his adultery with hester. Which makes him guilt ridden and he doesn't want to admit that he did it cause he is to high up in society and he doesn't want the rest of the town to see that he has committed the sin of adultery.
What are Chillingworth’s intentions? Why is he determined to “nurse” Arthur Dimmesdale back to health? These are just a couple of questions the reader may have about Roger Chillingworth when they read chapter nine, “The Leech”, of The Scarlet Letter. To help reveal Roger Chillingworth’s mysterious character to the reader, Hawthorne uses literary devices such as, metaphor, irony, and similes. Hawthorne uses metaphor to emphasize the length of curiosity Chillingworth has with Dimmesdale’s inner troubles.
Dimmesdale and Chillingworth both have secrets that make them look and act differently, their secrets affect their character and how they do their job. Dimmesdale is the father of Pearl but he doesn 't want to face the same humiliation as Hester did for his sins. Because of his secret he self punishes and fasts, he also preaches better than he did before although his health is failing. Chillingworth’s secret is that he was the husband of Hester while he was away, before she cheated on him. Chillingworth gets uglier and uglier driven by the need to get revenge on Pearl’s father.
He has been doing this evil stunt for years. Dimmesdale thought he was truly trying to help him, but in reality he was really trying to make him feel extremely guilty for his decisions and actions. It seems wrong to mentally hurt a minister, but then again, he did do something illegal, according to Chillingworth. He is so obsessed with hurting the minister, he can’t back away from the hobby; “The unfortunate physician, while uttering these words, lifted his hands with a look of horror, as if he had beheld some frightful shape…it was one of those moments – which sometimes occurs only at the interval of years – when a man’s moral aspect is faithfully revealed to his mind’s eye. Not improbably, he had never before viewed himself as he did now” (118).
Desperate for vengeance, Chillingworth “strove to go deep into his patient's bosom, delving among his principles, prying into his recollections, and probing everything with a cautious touch, like a treasure-seeker in a dark cavern. (112-113).” To achieve this, Chillingworth lies about his identity as Hester’s husband, temporarily disregards his fortune and name, gives up his entire life, just so he can live with the object of his obsession, Dimmesdale. As previously mentioned, Chillingworth was so deep-rooted in his vengeance that the devil himself had a grip on his soul. In addition to stating this, he also shows it.
Everyone, at some point in his or her life, has wanted to take revenge on someone. However, revenge is an obsessive, overwhelming response that is ultimately dissatisfying. In the Scarlet Letter, Chillingworth became completely preoccupied with taking revenge on Dimmesdale because he fathered a child with his wife, and through imagery, the gradual change from unpleasant physician to vengeful husband is shown. People say, “revenge is a dish best served cold.”
Another statement that Hawthorne makes in this section is that Chillingworth will not find anything except for mortality and corruption, but these were the things that he sought (125). This is giving the reader more insight on Chillingworth and his obsession. Chillingworth’s plan to infiltrate Dimmesdale’s home as his personal caretaker was to search for the truth. The once wise man had transformed once his obsession took control of him. Chillingworth’s
While both Chillingworth and Dimmesdale were living together so Chillingworth can conduct laboratorial exams, the narrator makes
Was atropine poisoning the cause of Arthur Dimmesdale’s death? In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter one of the three main characters’, Arthur Dimmesdale dies suddenly, although it is not explained in the book exactly how he died, many have theories. In an Article written by Dr. Jemshed A. Khan in the New England Journal of Medicine, he claims that Chillingworth purposely gave doses of atropine to Dimmesdale. Of course Chillingworth was "a man of skill in all Christian modes of physical science” (Hawthorne 65) he was also quite the brainer when it came to “medicinal roots and herbs” (Hawthorne 65), he was a physician, right?