Revenge Essay

1223 words - 5 pages

This writing focuses on the character Roger Chillingworth, who is one of the main characters in the Scarlet Letter. Chillingworth is first introduced as a “white man, clad in a strange disarray of civilized clothing and savage costume” (“Scarlet Letter: Page 1365”). It goes on to describe him as a small old man who has a look of high intellect and a deformed body. Chillingworth plays a chilling and disturbing character throughout the book. He acts almost inhumanly, which one could note that even Chillingworth’s name was supposed to portray him as being cold hearted. He was Hester’s husband in the Scarlet Letter. He also took on the role of the town physician, and was referred to as a “leech” which at the time was another name for doctors (“Scarlet Letter: Page 1371”). Another noteworthy attribute of Chillingworth is that he keeps his identity secret deliberately for the majority of the story: “when [Hester] appeared to recognize him, he slowly and calmly raised his finger, made a gesture with it in the air, and laid it on his lips” (“Scarlet Letter: Page 1365”).
Chillingworth’s story begins when he arrives at Boston and witnesses his wife for the first time in two years in public display upon the scaffold. He questions a man about his wife and finds out that he has been wronged by Hester. He is told that she now wears the letter due to carrying out an act of sin. From that moment Chillingworth character becomes darker and intent upon revenge. However, an interesting fact is his revenge was never pointed at Hester: “We have wronged each other; mine was the first wrong, when I betrayed thy budding youth into a false and unnatural relation with my decay. Therefore as a man who has not thought and philosophized in vain, I seek no vengeance, plot no evil against thee. Between thee and me the scale hands fairly balanced” (“Scarlet Letter: Page 1373”). He firmly believed she was justified in her actions. Shortly after Chillingworth arrives he becomes a physician and joins in the wealthy circle amongst the town of Boston with the goal of gaining more information about the man who committed adultery with his wife. Another one of Chillingworth’s stratagems was to keep his true identity hidden from the town. This was done so that he would have better chances to discover the man by means of trickery, which this played a key part in him finding out that Arthur Dimmesdale, was the man who wronged him. Once Chillingworth positions himself within the knowledgeable officials of the town, he quickly gleams the minister Dimmesdale holds a secret. Chillingworth then devotes himself to coercing the secret out of the minister by torturing him mentally for many years under the guise of his friend.
Chillingworth’s mindset has a major transformation throughout the novel. In the story, he appears to begin as this curious old man who shows a great interest in Hester. It can also be deduced that he is full of regret for sending Hester away after this quote from him...

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