The Scarlet Letter Roger Chillingworth Character Paper

667 Words3 Pages
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter, the character of Roger Chillingworth was transformed from a well educated scholar into a fallen, unrighteous man. Roger Chillingworth was once kind, then becomes the symbol of vengeance, and finally becomes the personification of vengeance to the extent of losing his humanity. Roger Chillingworth (Prynne), a “kind, but never warm hearted man,” was not always a vengeful and diabolical creature, but once he lusted after the idea of love and kindness. During “The Interview” with Hester, he admits his fault of trying for love: “It was my folly! I have said it. But up to that epoch of my life, I had lived in vain. The world had been so cheerless! My heart was a habitation large enough for many guests, but lonely and chill, and without a household fire. I longed to kindle one! It seemed not so wild a dream . . . And so, Hester, I drew thee into my heart, into its innermost chamber, and sought to warm thee by the warmth in which thy presence made there!” (69). Chillingworth’s compassion and desire for love and good, over the cruel and evil atmosphere he later develops, reveals that he was not always wandering down the road of revenge, but was a man of virtue. His spiraling fall into malice and morally self destructive actions only occur after he sets himself down the road to find the other person who wronged him, the man who shares his wife’s sin, and take vengeance upon him. Roger continues his personal decline by betraying his human nature and turning to a more demonic nature. “The physician advanced directly in front of his patient, laid his hand upon his bosom, and thrust aside the vestment that, hitherto, had always covered it even from the professional eye. . . .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
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