Roger Chillingworth As The Devil In The Scarlet Letter Essay

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In The Scarlet Letter by “Nathaniel Hawthorne”, one of the main characters, Roger Chillingworth, represents the devil. In Amsterdam, Roger Chillingworth marries a woman named Hester Prynne. After a few years in Amsterdam with Chillingworth, Hester Prynne moves to New England, while Chillingworth stays back, eventually planning on coming to join her in the New World. Two years later, Hester gives birth to a child, Pearl. No one knows who Pearl’s father is, so Hester has to wear a scarlet ‘A’ and stand on a podium where everyone makes fun of her. When she is standing on the podium, Roger Chillingworth, her husband, suddenly appears, after having been held captive by Indians for nearly a year. A little while later, the priest, Mr. Dimmesdale, …show more content…
In The Scarlet Letter, Roger Chillingworth is portrayed as the devil because he tries to take revenge, a sin that is very grave. Hester contemplates what Roger Chillingworth is doing, and realizes that “the old man, on the other hand, had brought himself nearer to her level, or perhaps below it, by the revenge which he had stooped for”(151). Since Roger Chillingworth is trying to take revenge, he actually lowers himself and makes himself morally corrupt. Later in chapter nine, the book talks about Roger Chillingworth’s origins, and his purpose in coming to the Puritan colony. It says that Roger Chillingworth has “ a new purpose; dark, it is true, if not guilty, but of force enough to engage the full strength of his faculties”(107). Roger Chillingworth’s new goal and purpose is to take revenge on Hester adulterer, an objective that would take the rest of his life. When Hester is in jail, Roger Chillingworth gives her potions to make her feel better. Hester asks him ““Art thou like the Black Man that haunts the forest round about us?”(69) and he replies “Not thy soul...No, not thine!” (69) In fact, christians view revenge as satanic and heinous, however, Roger Chillingworth does not care. Also, Hester notes that “In a word, old Roger Chillingworth was a striking evidence of man’s faculty of transforming himself into a Devil, if he will only, for a reasonable space of time, undertake a Devil’s office”(154). Roger Chillingworth becomes a devil because he does the devil’s work, namely, revenge. When Hester asks him “Why hast thou not avenged thyself on me?”,(156) he replies that “I have left thee to the scarlet letter”(156)Roger Chillingworth says that although he does not personally avenge her himself, he can avenge her via other agents, just like satan who does his evil work through

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