Theme of Vengeance in The Scarlet Letter

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Vengeance in The Scarlet Letter

Vengeance is the act of recovering justice by forcing the opposing individual to endure same punishment or exceed a far more harsh consequence than the victim. People often try to obtain revenge upon others for the wrong reasons due to fact that they believe the actions or sins of another person have affected the victim in a negative way. The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, uses the relentless character, Mr. Roger Chillingworth, to describe the result of being resentful and unforgiving to his wifes secret lover, Reverend Dimmesdale. The Scarlet Letter also vividly describes how Chillingworth became self absorbed with vengeance and how vengeance changes his physical appearance. Throughout the novel, The Scarlet Letter gives evidence of a clear picture of a life consumed by vengeance resulting in obsession over committing evil acts which leads to Chillingworth self destruction because of also being completely taken over by thoughts and desires of vengeance. On the contrary, The Scarlet Letter also describes the result when one is overcome by guilt and then forgiven. Using the character Hester Prynne, Hawthorne displays how she earns the townspeople forgiveness and her place back into their society. Rather than demanding forgiveness, Hester serves her punishment with no complaint but with pride. Eventually, the townspeople allow Hester to rejoin their society and give her an opportunity to gain respect back from the townspeople. When putting forgiveness in place of vengeance, peace and compromise are the result.

Chillingworth is the character who represents the definition of evil most profoundly in the novel, however he was not the only one. In fact, the whole town lacks for...

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...lace, where thou couldst have escaped me,--save on this very scaffold!" (215).

Chillingworth is openly confessing his motives and actions of vengeance against Dimmesdale and is so wrapped up in his sin that there is no hope of Chillingworth forgiving Dimmesdale.

Vengeance is a dangerous temptation to fall under. People often are very easily lured into taking vengeance upon another individual. The cause of this is that some people often think to take justice into there own hands when it is not there duty. This is how people can become trapped and obsessed with taking vengeance upon someone else and how it can change a persons motives to evil ones, motives that are far from justice. To counter the poison of vengeance, people must act in forgiveness rather than hate and anger towards another. When showing forgiveness for others, you will also be shown forgiveness.
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