Chillingworth's Villain In The Scarlet Letter

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The Scarlet Letter A truly evil villain can exponentially enhance the meaning of a work. In The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the theme of good against evil is strewn throughout the novel, and woven into the lives of its characters. Roger Chillingworth does a more than adequate job as the story’s terrible villain. His deformed personality, and physique match his perfectly chilling disposition. Chillingworth is immediately portrayed as a villain. In chapters 3 and 4, The Recognition and The Interview, he is introduced both alarming Hester, and forcing her to keep the secret of his identity. Then, it is revealed that Chillingworth was Hester’s husband in England. As a husband, Chillingworth held Hester in marriage, though…show more content…
Upon going to see Hester in jail, Chillingworth promised he’d seek vengeance on Pearl’s father saying “I shall seek this man…he must needs be mine!” (100). Soon, the villain sought the man he had been seeking, and realized that Dimmesdale must be the child’s father. Though Chillingworth felt quite sure, he wanted to be certain who the sinner was. In suspicion, Chillingworth talked to Dimmesdale saying, “the power of nature call so earnestly for the confession of sin, that these black weeds have sprung up out of a buried heart, to make manifest an unspoken crime..”(152). In this quote, Chillingworth is comparing a black weed growing from a dead sinners heart to the sin he thinks Dimmesdale has committed, and is trying to make him confess. Later on, Chillingworth cannot handle waiting for the truth any longer, in attempt to find out why minister Dimmesdale places his hand over his heart, Chillingworth “advanced directly in front of his patient (Dimmesdale), laid his hand upon his bosom, and thrust aside the vestment, that, hither-to had always covered it even from the professional eye.” (158). There he saw the mark in the shape of an A that Dimmesdale had given himself. In response to this was elated, “Had a man seen old Roger Chillingworth, at that moment of his ecstasy, he would have had no need to ask how Satan comports himself, when a precious human soul is lost to Heaven, and won into his kingdom.” (152). This quote shows that Chillingworth, in that moment, is the devil in human form. This took its toll on Dimmesdale, “the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale…was haunted either by Satan himself, or Satan’s emissary, in the guise of old Roger Chillingworth.”(148). Chillingworth was breaking minister Dimmesdale, furthering him into his

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