The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

1128 Words Mar 17th, 2016 5 Pages
In his novel, The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne powerfully uses characters to embody central themes in the plot. The character named Roger Chillingworth is generally seen as representing the guilt from the adulterous relationship of Arthur Dimmesdale and Hester Prynne. While Chillingworth greatly impacts Dimmesdale, who hid his sin, Chillingworth has very little direct effect on Hester, who was not holding in her guilt. Chillingworth is generally depicted as evil, clinging to Dimmesdale and sucking his life-blood like a leech. Little room is left for sympathy toward Chillingworth since he seemingly has little excuse for his actions. However, a deeper analysis of the text reveals that Chillingworth is somewhat mischaracterized. Since Dimmesdale stole Chillingworth’s opportunity of a good life with Hester and caused Pearl and Hester to be ostracized by the community, Chillingworth feels that it is his duty to bring Dimmesdale to justice. However, no matter how much Dimmesdale suffers, Chillingworth is never satisfied and is eventually consumed with nothing but the desire for revenge.
When Roger Chillingworth first appears, he finds that his wife, Hester, has committed adultery and conceived a child who she named Pearl. Even with such a severe blow, he keeps calm and even forgives Hester for her unfaithfulness to him. However, Chillingworth does not forgive the man who stole his wife. When Chillingworth recognizes Hester being punished upon the scaffold he suppresses his…

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