Revenge in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Essays

Revenge in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Essays

Length: 895 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview



The Scarlet Letter:  Revenge

 

Revenge is the act of retaliating in order to get even with someone for the wrongs they have done. In the novel “The Scarlet Letter,” the author, Nathaniel Hawthorne, uses Roger Chillingworth to reap revenge on Arthur Dimmesdale for his affair with his wife, Hester Prynne. Chillingworth becomes so devoted to revenge that is all his life revolves around. Chillingworth then devotes the rest of his life to taking revenge on Dimmesdale.

As the novel progressed, Chillingworth fits the profile of ‘vengeance destroys the avenger’. When Roger Chillingworth is first introduced to the reader, we see a kind old man, who just has planted the seeds for revenge. Although he did speak of getting his revenge, when Hester first met her husband in her jail cell, she did not see any evil in him. Because Hester would not tell him who she had slept with, Chillingworth vowed that he would spend the rest of his life having his revenge and that he would eventually suck the soul out of the man, whom she had the affair with. “There is a sympathy that will make me conscious of him. I shall see him tremble. I shall feel myself shudder, suddenly and unawares” (Hawthorne, 101) As the novel develops, Roger Chillingworth has centered himself on Arthur Dimmesdale, but he cannot prove that he is the “one.” Chillingworth has become friends with Dimmesdale, because he has a “strange disease,” that needed to be cured; Chillingworth suspects something and begins to drill Dimmesdale. “… The disorder is a strange one…hath all the operation of this disorder been fairly laid open to me and recounted to me” (Hawthorne, 156).

As Chillingworth continues to drill Dimmesdale, he strikes a nerve. “You deal not, I take it, i...


... middle of paper ...


...Now go thy ways, and deal as thou wilt with yonder man” (Hawthorne, 192). Chillingworth’s plan for revenge is based on Dimmesdale not confessing to his crime.

When Dimmesdale confessed to the crowd on Election Day, Chillingworth pleaded with him not to tell. “Old Roger Chillingworth knelt down beside him, with a blank, dull countenance, out of which life seemed to have departed. Thou hast escaped me…thou hast escaped me! He repeated more than once.” (Hawthorne, 268). Once Dimmesdale had confessed and died, Chillingworth had nothing to live for. “At old Roger Chillingworth’s decease (which took place within the year).” (Hawthorne, 272). Revenge destroys the avenger, fits the life of Roger Chillingworth. He devoted his entire life to revenge, and what happiness did he have to show for it? Had Chillingworth not been so jealous, he might have had a better life to live.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Psychological Effects of Sin in The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne

- In the novel ,The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the author portrays the psychological effect of sin on Reverand Dimmesdale through internal torture and through Roger Chillingworth in him becoming a fiend. Roger becomes entangled in this idea of punishment and the discovery of the fiend who took his wife, while Dimmesdale becomes so sickened with guilt he begins to hurt himself. Throughout the novel Chillingworth slowly starts to develop into this fiend like character. His physical form begins to change over time....   [tags: punishment, revenge, guilt]

Better Essays
555 words (1.6 pages)

A Plea for Truthfulness in "the Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

- The story, the Scarlet Letter written by Nathaniel Hawthorne published in 1850, may be viewed through many different lenses, however Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale and Roger Chillingworth project moral values in a powerful description of good and evil to show that if one is true to themselves they will live a simpler life with happy consequences. Throughout The Scarlet Letter Hester lives with disgrace and is always mocked by the towns people. There are many instances of characters not being true to themselves....   [tags: Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne, characters,]

Better Essays
839 words (2.4 pages)

Hypocrisy in Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter Essay

- Hypocrisy in Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter Hypocrisy, often seen as one of the vilest manifestations of the human ego, is also one of the most inevitable and foreseeable. It is the simplest, and yet one of the most intricate aspects of being human. We all wish to judge and not be judged, for our own voice is always the strongest in our mind. Hypocrisy runs rampant in daily life; all one has to do is turn on the television set at our convenience to be forced to consider the meanings and implications of our own actions....   [tags: Hawthorne Scarlet Letter Essays]

Better Essays
931 words (2.7 pages)

Free Essay on Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter - The Sins

- Analysis of Sins in The Scarlet Letter The story begins with an unfortunate marriage between Hester and Roger Prynne, wich leads to adultery and revenge. The Scarlet Letter, is the title of Nathaniel Hawthorne's book. The book is mainly focused on Hester Prynne, her sin, and the people who got caught in the midst of it. Firstly and most importantly is Hester Prynne. As stated before, she was the main character, and the one who leads others to sin. She committed the sin of adultery, the sin that back in those days was punished with death....   [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]

Free Essays
560 words (1.6 pages)

Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Essay

- One could say that Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter is a tale of transformation. The main characters' personalities shift with their environment; the scarlet letter takes on a new light. Hawthorne's view of what is going on changes, as does our own. The book is dynamic in a sneaky sort of way. If the reader isn't careful, a character can be changed dramatically in two or three pages, and no one is the wiser as to how they got there. Pearl, Minister Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth are just a few of those characters....   [tags: Hawthorne Scarlet Letter]

Free Essays
1421 words (4.1 pages)

Conflict In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

- Conflict in The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne Human nature, while impressively complex, also has various poor qualities. Often these imperfections result in conflicts which are in turn depicted in works of literature. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, set in an old Puritan community, is centered on several conflicts of human nature that result from the adultery and punishment of Hester Prynne. There are three major conflicts each for which Hawthorne created a specific main character to illustrate: Pearl, Hester's illegitimate daughter, depicts the conflict purity versus sin, Roger Chillingworth, Hester's former husband, depicts good versus evil, and Reverend Arthur Dimmesd...   [tags: Hawthorne Scarlet Letter]

Free Essays
1241 words (3.5 pages)

The Scaffold Scenes in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Essay

- The Scaffold Scenes in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter In Nathaniel Hawthorne?s The Scarlet Letter, the Puritans constantly look down upon sinners like Hester Prynne, both literally and symbolically. The use of the three scaffold scenes throughout the course of the novel proved to be an effective method in proving this theory and showing how Puritan society differs from that of today?s. In the first scaffold scene, Hester is being led from the prison where she has spent the last few months, towards the scaffold clutching her newborn baby to her bosom, covering the scarlet letter-the two symbols representing truth and her lost innocence....   [tags: Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne Essays]

Better Essays
879 words (2.5 pages)

Essay about Sinfulness of the Puritans in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

- Sinfulness of the Puritans in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne brings to The Scarlet Letter a notion of sin and guilt that seems to stem from his experience and knowledge of Puritan theology and religious practice. In "The Custom House" Hawthorne communicates his apprehension for the persecutory impulses of his ancestors who "have mingled their earthly substance with the soil, until no small portion of it must necessarily be akin to the moral frame wherewith, for a little while, I walk the streets" (1309)....   [tags: Scarlet Letter Essays]

Better Essays
2042 words (5.8 pages)

Guilt in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Essay

- Guilt in The Scarlet Letter What is guilt. We all have guilt about something. Maybe forgetting something, lied about something, or even did something that shouldn't of been done. In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne we saw guilt fester in the minds and outward appearance of the main characters, Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale and Roger Chillingworth. When you hear the word guilt what do you think it means. Guilt means remorseful awareness of having done something wrong or of having failed to do something required or expected....   [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]

Free Essays
769 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on Hawthorne's The Scarlett Letter

- Hawthorne's The Scarlett Letter Works Cited Missing "He is the complete type of man of the world, the social ideal,--courteous, quiet, well informed, imperturbably. Nevertheless, his moral nature is a poisonous and irreclaimable wilderness, in which blooms not a single flower of heavenly parentage." (J. Hawthorne) Over the course of seven years, Roger Chillingworth changes from a calm, scholarly, and kind person to an evil, corrupt, and satanic being. Roger Chillingworth's life in England with Hester was happy....   [tags: Hawthorne Scarlett Letter Essays]

Better Essays
1081 words (3.1 pages)