Scarlet Letter And Moby Dick Essay, Research Paper
?Vengeance Can Only Occur Through Providence?
?Man cannot get away with vengeance because vengeance is God?s job? (Great Books, MD). Through this quote, one can conclude that man is not one to judge others and exact revenge. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville and The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne are two anecdotes that teach a lesson in regard to revenge. The Scarlet Letter, telling a tale about the commitment of adultery, reveals that revenge is unable to be done by man. Obsessed with finding his wife?s partner of adultery, Roger Chillingworth also becomes obsessed with vengeance. He becomes obsessed enough that he, himself begins to deteriorate and eventually destroys himself. Moby-Dick is a tale about a man, Ahab, who wants to kill Moby Dick, the whale that has taken one of his legs. He cannot rid Moby Dick, and eventually destroys as well, further proving that revenge can only happen through providence. Two anecdotes, Moby-Dick and The Scarlet Letter commonly divulge a theme; one cannot take on God?s task of vengeance and if tried, the vengeance can blind the soul.
As Chillingworth acknowledges that Dimmesdail, the town minister, guilty of adultery with relation to his wife, he begins his quest to make close relations with Dimmesdail. With closer relations, it is easier for Chillingworth to exact revenge. Revenge is not Chillingworth?s job but God?s. Hester tries to stop him by saying, ?Hast thou not tortured him enough?? (Hawthorne 168). However, Chillingworth responds with, ?No!?no!?He has but increased the debt!? (Hawthorne 169). Chillingworth desires full revenge toward Dimmesdail and cannot yield. Dimmesdail does not yet realize Chillingworthe?s intention and as a result, Chillingworthe becomes more obsessed with revenge. Correspondingly in Moby-Dick, Starbuck, a whaler against vengeance, tries to yield Ahab from revenge. Likewise, Starbuck cries, ?Vengeance on a dumb brute!? (Melville 236). In the same way, Ahab responds, ??That inscrutable thing is chiefly what I hate; and be the white whale agent, or be the white whale principal, I will wreak that hate upon him?? (Melville 236). At this point, Ahab will not yield to anything because the hatred has blinded him. Both Ahab and Chillingworthe have been warned by God and can stop their plan of revenge at anytime. However, they cannot let go because once planned, vengeance is hard to relinquish.
The first day chasing Moby Dick was the second warning to Ahab. The whale had consumed the boat containing Ahab but had luckily spilled him out. ?The boat had shaken off his hold on the jaw; spilled him out of it?? (Melville 786). This causes him to encourage his shipmates even more to chase Moby Dick even by means of bribing. He says, ??I shall let it [gold] abide here till the White Whale is dead; and then, whosoever of ye first raises him, upon the day shall be killed, this gold is that man?s?? (Melville 792). This quote proves Ahab?s increasing desire for vengeance. Due to failure, Ahab?s desperateness for revenge is becoming more apparent. Chillingworth is the identical in that manner. ?Chillingworth? transforming himself into a devil, if he will only, for a reasonable space of time undertake a devil?s office?? (Hawthorne 166). As seen from this quote, Chilingworth has been changing into an evil man. Like Ahab, he has been becoming more desperate where he is blinded by vengeance. At the last minute during the time Dimmesdail and Hester are planning to escape the town that has their mark of adultery, the scarlet letter, Chillingworth completely ruins their plan. Hester and Dimmesdail were planning to take a ship to elsewhere but a seaman of the ship gives Pearl a message, ??the black-a-visaged hump-shouldered old doctor, and he engages to bring his friend?? (Hawthorne 241). This proves that Chillingworth refuses to yield to anything and will exact revenge as long as he is alive. He has followed Dimmesdail refuses to lose Dimmesdail?s track. Until the very end, both Ahab and Chillingworth have full desire for vengeance which blind them.
It is quite evident that both Ahab and Chillingworth were to be successful in revenge–up to the conclusion of the story. However, the stories? ending is quite different from predicted. Dimmesdail reveals his hidden sin by his scarlet letter on his chest. As well as this, Dimmesdail dies right after pouring out his guilt. Soon after, ?All his [Chillingworth] strength and energy?all his vital and intellectual force?semmed at once to desert him?? (Hawthorne 354). Eventually, he dies just as Ahab does in Moby-Dick. The two anecdotes parallel in the ending in this sense. During the third chase of Moby Dick, ??the whole captive form folded in the flag of Ahab, went down with his ship, which, like Satan would not sink to hell till she had dragged a living part of heaven along with her?? (Melvillle 822). As Ahab went down with the ship, vengeance is forgotten and has never been accomplished. In the same way, Chillingworth dies soon after Dimmesdail and never exacts revenge. The revenge and all related to it collapses. The whole tale has no revenge accomplished because man cannot take on revenge because it is God?s occupation.
The two characters of Ahab and Chillingworth attempted to reverse life in the sense they wanted to take on their own revenge. They have tried for their own vengeance by taking on God?s tasks. Through Ahab?s and Chillingworth?s pitiful conclusions, one can deduce that man cannot get away with exacting revenge because it is God?s task. ?Ahab represents tyranny against God [which attempts to take revenge]? (Great Books, MD). He has come to his miserable conclusion of death. Correspondingly, ?Chillingworth tries to take on God?s job of vengeance? (Great Books, SL) and ruins himself in the process. (Great Books, SL). From the two anecdotes The Scarlet Letter and Moby-Dick, one can learn established laws of God cannot be broken just as Ahab and Chillingworth could not without destroying themselves.