The Scarlet Letter Villain

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In the Scarlet Letter, the role of the villain is vague and not truly defined; it seems to be left up to the reader to make their own decision. In the first three chapters we are lead to believe that the villain will be an abstract one, the prejudice of Hester Prynne’s pregnancy. This is quickly dissolved when her husband, Roger Chillingworth, arrives and discovers her condition. He then becomes obsessed, with finding out the identity of the child’s father. Hester Prynne could also be considered the villain. A married woman goes to a new world to make a home for her husband, who will follow shortly after. She then proceeds to fall for the new world’s minister and become pregnant. There is then, what could be argued the last and final possible villain; Dimmesdale. The fact that he seduced and impregnated a married woman is reason enough for him to be thought a villain. I believe that the true villain is the husband, Roger Chillingworth. As we await the arrival of Hester Prynne’s husband, his character and nature stay a mystery. Hester says very little of her husband or what he is like. We are kept almost entirely in the dark about this character. When Chillingworth finally does arrive in the new world, we are very harshly introduced to the Scarlet Letter’s villain. He is brash, cold, and unmannered. We also find out, how he is truly evil and lacking compassion. We contend that this startling and unpleasant introduction is the writer’s way, of letting the reader know; we are to hate and despise this character. As Chillingworth comes into town and sees his wife being punished for the crime of adultery, by having to wear a scarlet A for the rest of her life. He asks a bystander in the crowed why this woman was being punished. He is told, and his immediate reaction is that the man should also be punished. Hester is then taken back to prison where she was being held,

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