Chillingworth's Demonic Actions Essay

Chillingworth's Demonic Actions Essay

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With a raging desire for knowledge and a single-minded pursuit of
retribution, Chillingworth’s demonic actions lead him to damnation,
demonstrating the need for reconciliation in times of conflict.

Two Wrongs Make a Wrong

Revenge. It exists within everyone. Pervading throughout all social
relationships, revenge is damaging and detrimental to any hopes of
reconciliation. Those who commit revenge are cowardly people
unwilling to face the harsh realities of life. For the meek,
vengeance pleasures the soul; however, it is only temporal. Like an
addictive drug, revenge soothes anger and tension by sedating the mind
with ephemeral comfort. Despite the initial relief, pain ensues and
conditions seem worse than before. Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of the
non-violence movement in India, stated once that “an eye for an eye
only ends up making the whole world blind.” There is no such thing as
a sweet revenge. In a sense, revenge is slowly killing oneself and
dragging another into death as well. Nathaniel Hawthorne, in his
novel The Scarlet Letter, evinces this reality in the eventual fate of
Roger Chillingworth. Aroused by a vehement zeal for payback towards
the Reverend Dimmesdale, Chillingworth drains the life out of himself,
shown in his gradually decaying body and soul. With a raging desire
for knowledge and a single-minded pursuit of retribution,
Chillingworth’s demonic actions lead him to damnation, demonstrating
the need for reconciliation in times of conflict.

Chillingworth’s unquenched thirst for knowledge leads him to a state
of vengeance, foreshadowing its eventual control over his actions. As
a respected physician, Chillingworth was “a man of skill in all
Christian modes of physical science, and li...

... middle of paper ...

powerful grip over him, dies peacefully, and Chillingworth dies soon

To plot revenge in any situation is harmful. Chillingworth’s plot of
revenge brings the downfall of Dimmesdale, as well as his own. For
the last seven years of his life, his days were passed with a
steadfast goal of creating torment for the man who sinned and hurt him
the most. In this case, Hawthorne is the Aesop, and he strives to
communicate the moral and truth about revenge. Like Mahatma Gandhi,
Hawthorne indicates that revenge is a continual process—one act of
revenge leads to more atrocious acts by the opposition, and in the end
no one wins. The human mind has been deceived. Revenge is the trap
we all fall into every once in a while. Humans just need to remember
to be open towards each other with forgiving and receiving arms and to
embrace the enemy with love, not hate.

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