What Does Chillingworth Symbolize In The Scarlet Letter

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Symbolism is when a writer uses a real object to stand for ideas or qualities. Hawthorne uses a lot of symbolism in The Scarlet Letter, almost everything in the book has symbolism. Symbolism aren’t always easy to find. The book itself is one over all symbol and contains individual symbols. Most things in the book have more than one symbol attached to them. The main characters are Arthur Dimmesdale, Hester Prynne, Pearl, and Roger Chillingworth. Chillingworth is Hester’s husband who committed adultery with dimmesdale and had a child named Pearl. Hawthorne used the main characters and places where major events took place as symbolism in the book.
Dimmesdale is a major character and symbol in The Scarlet Letter. He was the adultery of Hester,
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Chillingworth symbolizes hatred and revenge. Chillingworth wanted to make Hester’s partener known but ended up torturing him and wanting to make him pay for what he did. This is shown by him saying “save these ugly weeds, that have taken upon themselves to keep him in remembrance. They grew out of his heart, and typify, it may be, some hideous secret that was buried with him, and which he had done better to confess during his lifetime.”(Hawthorne 144) Chillingworth had become “guilty of what Hawthorne saw as the unpardonable sin of probing Dimmesdale’s heart without sympathy.” (Wagenknecht 71) Also as the book progresses Chillingworth looks meaner and tries to cover it with an evil smile. He also looks worse as time passes. At the end of the book when Dimmesdale dies Chillingworth is devastated because he can not torture him anymore which is a way love and hate are the same according to Hawthorne. Chillingworth also ends up dying a year after Dimmesdale because he does not have anything to do. Chillingworth is a main character but does not have a lot of symbolism with him.
Hawthorne uses a lot of symbolism in The Scarlet letter and all characters and important places have some kind of symbolism to them, even if it is just one thing. Like Chillingworth who only has hate and revenge. Which is unlike Dimmsdale with unconfessed sin, cowardness, and self-centeredness, and Pearl, who was smartness, wildness, freedom, innocence, and sin. Chillingworth also helps show how hate and love are the same thing. The book itself is also a symbol of hate and a feminist movement. Almost everything in the book has symbolism you just need to look hard enough to see

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