While Hester was publicly shamed, Arthur Dimmesdale, who was also to blame for the adultery crime, was fighting within himself. Hester was shamed and forced to wear the Scarlet Letter A on her bosom for 7 years; Dimmesdale hid behind lies and secrets for 7 years and it tore him apart. This time Dimmesdale, Hester, and their daughter Pearl, stand on the scaffold together. The whole town began to realize who the lover of Hester was this whole time and who became the father of Pearl 7 years ago. As years went on, people began to forgive Hester. Hester then began to start over. After she is released from prison, she is allowed to leave Boston, but she decides to stay. She supports herself and starts over by her needlework. Although for so long her shamed destroyed her, she had a change in attitude. The people in the town began to look at the A on her chest as “Able” and not “Adulter”.This allowed Hester to change from an easy going and tender women to a strong and passionate women. She realized that she needed to be strong and independent. I believe that once she stood on the scaffold with Dimmesdale and Pearl she found happiness and strength within herself. Her attitude changed from negative to a positive outlook; she realized that her past made her stronger as a woman. The people of the town had forgiven her and some even respected her. This scene of the book showed that Hester
The Scarlet Letter, written in the 1800's by Anti-Transcendentalist Nathaniel Hawthorne, tells the story of Hester Prynne. Young Hester lived in New England, about the same time witch trials were still conducted, and she is found guilty of carrying a baby whose father she refuses to confess. The punishment for this crime is from then until the rest of her life, Hester had to bear a stitched 'A'; on her breast. This 'A'; carries the namesake of the book, The Scarlet Letter. Although thought to be an embarrassment and form of torture for Hester, this scarlet letter seems to become a sense of pride for Prynne. This scarlet letter grows to become a part of Hester an identification to her child Pearl. The scarlet letter is a constant recurring symbol in Hawthorne's novel, but it doesn't satisfy only one purpose. As many symbols tend to do, the scarlet letter serves numerous functions, which enhance the story.
The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, focuses on the adulteress, Hester Prynne. It follows Hester’s growth from a weak outcast to a strong individual. It also describes the conflicts faced by her former husband and her former lover. While Roger Chillingworth, her former husband becomes more corrupted because of his desire for vengeance, her former lover, Arthur Dimmesdale, becomes more burdened with guilt. At first, Dimmesdale wants to expose his sins,
Puritan societies were based upon religion and righteous doings, the judgment of the sin adultery, committed in Nathaniel Hawthone’s The Scarlet Letter, would be one that would have a punishment of death. Hester Prynne, in the beginning of the story, stands on trial with the letter A on her chest and her baby, Pearl, in her arm waiting to be publicly viewed and forced into total isolation. Married to Roger Chillingsworth, Hester commits this sin with no one other than the Reverend Dimmesdale, the most looked upon person in the society; although the society does not know Dimmesdale as the father. As time passes along, Dimmesdale, haunted by this sin, begins to isolate himself, and since the people do not know of his wrong doings he also scourges himself as a punishment as well, and even when his sin is publicly known people seem to have a different reaction than what their reaction with Hester was. Society’s views of sin and wrongful doings sends people into isolation, whether by their own choice or by the choice of society. They use isolation as a way to create a point that someone should be avoided for fear of them being different or evil, being born or inhabited by the "black man" or devil.
Despite Hawthorne’s claim that his book, The Scarlet Letter, is a work of Romanticism, this novel focuses more on the Puritanic lifestyle throughout the timeline of the story. Hawthorne includes examples of God, how God chose the elect, the ministers and church officials controlled the government, and blunt examples of the Puritan lifestyle. Hawthorn does include examples of Romanticism, but he includes many more examples of Puritanism. He tried to make his novel a work of Romantic writing, but it turned out to be more Puritan.
... the secret he hides to torture him more through the means of his presence or his medicine which could quite possibly be poisonous. Chillingworth constantly questions Dimmesdale about his life, attempting to pry open the secret he hopes the reverend is holding. One day Chillingworth extends his limitations suggesting that Dimmesdale’s disease is a spiritual problem. This offends the minister and claims he will confess to God and not to him. When Dimmesdale goes to sleep shortly after this encounter, Chillingworth opens his shirt only to find a scarlet letter “A”, similar to Hester’s carved on his chest. This tells everything Chillingworth needs to know as he discovers that Dimmesdale is former companion of his former wife, Hester Prynne. Now Chillingworth is capable of torturing Dimmesdale at will without the minister knowing that he has full knowledge of his sin.
Hester Prynne, such a lady bound to a man named Roger Chillingworth, has been left alone as if in mid day vulnerable to commit an action that she or any other person would consider a sin. The affair begins with Chillingworth being taken away by Indians and left there for a long time. Hester, not knowing what became of her husband Chillingworth, was overcome with a darkened feeling to dishonor her marriage with Chillingworth and have an affair with the striking young minister Dimmesdale. This terrible sin that Hester has committed puts innocent people, such as Dimmesdale and Chillingworth, in the position of being accused or discriminated from these actions of being involved with Hester. Hester was then seen with an infant at her arms and a
He suspects Dimmesdale so he moves in with him and becomes his doctor. Seeing that Dimmesdale is sick, he decides to use this to his advantage. Throughout the years Chillingworth gained his trust and kept him alive, however, never curing him completely causing him to live in constant pain. Dimmesdale is trapped with Chillingworth for years until the prospect of running away with Hester rejuvenates him. As a result, he doesn't take his pills and the next day he reveals the secret on his chest to the townspeople before immediately dying. Right before he died, Chillingworth approached him and spoke “Thou hast escaped me” (161), causing the end of Chillingworth's malevolent actions. After Dimmesdale died, Chillingworth had nothing left to live for and he soon passed away just one year later. Chillingworth changed from a harmless man, into a man who would stop at nothing for revenge. However he became so obsessed with revenge that it became a part of him, changing him into a malicious person by nature. When he had no one to get revenge on after Dimmesdale passed on, he had no purpose in
Chillingworth, on a hunt to for vengeance constantly torments Dimmesdale, as these mortal enemies reside in the same house by order of the governor. While in this house Chillingworth, Dimmesdale's Doctor, observes Dimmesdale and administers drugs to ‘help’ the parishioner. While doing his actual job as a doctor, he messes with Dimmesdale by alluding to confessing to unknown sins. When Dimmesdale does not confess to his love for Hester, Chillingworth and Hester meet in the forest. Hester, worried about Dimmesdale’s health ask, “‘Hast thou not tortured him enough?’” and Chillingworth responds “‘No, no! He has but increased the debt!’” (Hawthorne 258). Again Chillingworth has a very natural response to Dimmesdale denying the apparent affair. When men find out their wife has cheated on them, their primal instinct is to kill or harm the cuckold, which is exactly why Chillingworth is doing (Smedley
Had Chillingworth returned to see Hester with open arms, he might have lived out a full and happy life; Hearing that Hester was impregnated with another man’s child by a complete stranger was terribly painful and emotionally distressing. It drove him to dedicating his life to hunting this man down and murdering him with his own hands. Hester knew he was a very intelligent man, a scholar and a kind and thoughtful person, but she watched him throw away his talent and skill while he pursued Dimmesdale. The readers feel empathy toward Chillingworth because they know that he could have led a very successful life with a family, but he watched from the sidelines as his own wife raised her child without him. Chillingworth returned to Boston expecting a warm welcome and celebration, but instead hid behind a new identity to find out who ruined his life and put his wife on display on the scaffold. Being revealed to his full story changes the readers’ impression of him, because the author shows the audience a side to him that is hidden beneath his cruel exterior. Every character has depth and even though one must dig deep to unveil Chillingworth’s broken and fragile heart, it is still there, and proves him to be a sympathetic
Once Chillingworth finds out that Arthur Dimmesdale is Hester’s co-sinner, he begins plotting revenge. Chillingworth gets the job as Dimmesdale’s physician and instead of giving him the correct vitamins and herbs, he feeds him toxic substances that are slowly killing him. As Hawthorne narrates, “No man for any considerable period can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true” (203). This quote is especially true in the case of Chillingworth. It is evident that he is not a bad man; he is an ordinary man who has been blinded by his desire for revenge. Hawthorne describes Chillingworth as, “evidence of man’s faculty of transforming himself into a devil” (158). Chillingworth used to be a loving, gentle husband, but has morphed into a revenge seeking, malicious
But the truth was that Chillingworth was constantly investigating Dimmesdale and reaching to the depth of his heart and prying his secrets and by that constantly hurting him. Dimmesdale was hurt because he lived a life of lies. To the world he was clergyman Dimmesdale - a wise man who was considered a saint, but in his heart he knew a different image of himself, as a sinner who is afraid to confess. Throughout the story it is hinted that if he had confessed he would have been relieved a long time ago and would not have been so sick.