The Scarlet Letter Essay, Research Paper
In the book The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, a character by the name of Roger Chillingworth had committed the unpardonable sin and he basically killed another character, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. Everyone has been in a position where they have had the chance of manipulating or blackmailing someone. Chillingworth did exactly that and ended up breaking down Dimmesdale to his death. Dimmesdale was not the single one affected by Chillingworth?s deeds. Chillingworth had a spouse, but no one knew of their relationship. Her name was Hester Prynne and she had an illegitimate child named Pearl.
The Reverend Dimmesdale had an affair with Hester, and he is the real father of Pearl. Throughout the novel the people of Boston were withheld this information, along with the information of Hester?s real husband. Chillingworth was a physician, or back in those days a doctor was called a leech. Dimmesdale started to feel ill, thus starting the beginning of his end. Dimmesdale became not simply a patient of Chillingworth, but a roommate as well.
Being in such close contact with Dimmesdale, Chillingworth has come to know the minister?s most private emotions, and he has begun to suspect that Dimmesdale?s illness is the result of a deep secret that has at no time been confided with another. In a sequestered conversation with Hester, Chillingworth made a vow to descry the real father of Pearl, and expose him. In a conversation with Dimmesdale, Chillingworth brings up the question of why an individual would be willing to carry ?secret sins? to his grave sooner than confess them
during his lifetime. Dimmesdale and Chillingworth exchange their thoughts. One of Chillingworth?s was, ?Wouldst thou have me to believe, O wise and pious friend, that a false show can be better-can be more for God?s glory, or man?s welfare-than God?s own truth? Trust me, such men deceive themselves!? To this Dimmesdale feels uneasy and changes the subject. The execution of this act caused Chillingworth to become suspicious. A few days later, Chillingworth found Dimmesdale asleep in a chair. Chillingworth silently approached Dimmesdale. Once Chillingworth had reached his destination, he swiftly removed Dimmesdale?s church robe and saw the scarlet letter on the chest before him, hence ending Chillingworth?s search for the father of Pearl.
Now that Chillingworth knew Hester and Dimmesdale?s secret, his metamorphosis was complete. Chillingworth had gone from a caring individual to a devil. Chillingworth acknowledges this, he says in a conversation with Hester, ?Dost thou remember me? Was I not, though you might deem me cold, nevertheless a man thoughtful for others, craving little for himself,–kind, true, just, and of constant, if not warm affections??.And what I am now??.I have already told thee what I am! A fiend! Who made me so?!? Chillingworth believes Dimmesdale made him into a ?fiend?. To Chillingworth, Dimmesdale was weak and had what was coming to him.
Hawthorne speaks of Chillingworth?s death with no emotion, even though Chillingworth played a large role in the death of Dimmesdale. Chillingworth tortured Dimmesdale to his death. Chillingworth proclaimed ?hadst thou sought the whole earth over there was no one place so secret?no high place nor lowly place where thou couldst have escaped me?save on this very scaffold!? Dimmesdale had finally out of captivity. In addition, Dimmesdale asks God to forgive Chillingworth of his sin. Chillingworth could no longer bother Dimmesdale. In
the last chapter of the book, Nathaniel Hawthorne tells of how Robert Chillingworth withered up and shriveled away. Hawthorne acquaints that the physician?s fate was the most horrible of the three because his sin was the darkest.
In the beginning of The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne depicts Chillingworth as a stranger, but also as a compassionate man. Chillingworth made a deal with Hester that he will not tell everyone that he is her husband. Chillingworth does a little investigating on Dimmesdale because of Dimmesdale?s unusual acts and behavior. After finding out the truth, Chillingworth begins to torment Dimmesdale up till his last breath. Chillingworth forced Hester to keep her vow of silence in which she would not reveal his relationship with her as her spouse to anyone. In conclusion, Chillingworth performed the inadmissible sin in which he vexes Reverend Dimmesdale to his ultimate doom.