The Character of Chillingworth in The Scarlet Letter Essay

The Character of Chillingworth in The Scarlet Letter Essay

Length: 1055 words (3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Character of Chillingworth in The Scarlet Letter


Old Mr. Prynne began his new life in the town of Boston as the Physician Roger Chillingworth. The moment he arrived, the town deemed him intelligent and mild mannered; he always seemed pleasant although a little odd. Throughout the seven years he remained in Boston, his character changed so dramatically from admirable to evil that even those who did not know him personally seemed to notice an evil nature deep within his soul trying to break free.


            Chillingworth stood with Hester Prynne within the confines of the prison, talking with her about how he would go about finding her lover. He says to her, "I shall seek this man, as I have sought truth in books; as I have sought gold in alchemy. There is a sympathy that will make me conscious of him" (pg. 70). As any man who found their wife to be adulterous, Chillingworth reacted with a fairly normal response- although angry and wanting revenge, he did not react totally unreasonably.  After this talk with Hester between the prison walls, Chillingworth makes it his personal goal to find Hester's lover; no sudden change had occurred within Chillingworth, although over a few months his demeanor beings to change.


            Even though Hester has many other issues on her mind, while she is at the Governor's house, she notices without hesitation that Chilingworth's demeanor has made a drastic change. While Dimmesdale and Governor Bellingham are trying to decide the fate of Pearl and where she will remain during her lifetime, Hester glances at Chillingworth, who happens to be stand...

... middle of paper ... to us a character like Chillingworth, Hawthorn creates a villain that one has to think whether he/she hates Chillingworth or feels as though he's a victim of circumstance. Without directly telling us that others influence our lives in such a powerful way, Hawthorne conveys this idea through Chillingworth and Chillingworth's effect on those around him.  Because of Chillingworth, the reader gets to see how a person who is not necessarily an evil man to begin with, can become so corrupt that even those around him view him as the Devil's worker.  By putting a character like Chillingworth in his book, Hawthorne is able to show how religion had a big influence over the people during that time period. Even though Chillingworth harassed Hester and Dimmesdale, the two were more afraid of their fates after death, than Chillingworth during their lifetimes.


Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Chillingworth: Friend or Fiend? Chillingworth: Friend or Fiend? Essay

- Chillingworth: Friend or Fiend. Some people, seek vengeance when they suffer a wrong. In the novel The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the character Roger Chillingworth is no exception, but the burden of his revenge becomes so heavy that it leads to a transformation of character that is unprecedented. Though at first a humble physician, Roger Chillingworth, slowly, through acts of his seeking revenge on his wife’s lover, Arthur Dimmesdale, he transforms into a parasitic leech, which eventually leads to his downfall....   [tags: Hawthorne Scarlet Letter Character Analysis]

Free Essays
1273 words (3.6 pages)

Character Transformation in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Essay

- There are far too many instances in the world in which situations, actions, or emotions lead us to be different people than who we truly are. There are many ways that one can become stressed or upset, and there are various different ways that one can go about dealing with it - ways that can cause one to lose friends, family, or even oneself. For instance, when I was young girl, my grandfather had begun to become very stressed due to problems at work, and he was beginning to ache all over his body....   [tags: Dimmesdale, Chillingworth]

Strong Essays
1064 words (3 pages)

Essay on The Demise of Roger Chillingworth

- Hawthorne used symbolism to represent how various human behaviors would impact life. He took these behaviors to the extreme to emphasize their influence in the situation of adultery. Roger Chillingworth had the role of the villain in this story. "Although he was originally the only character without a problem or a sin, he became the one who performed the worst sins of all.”₂ He transformed into the embodiment of vengeance, Hawthorne further amplified this persona by portraying him as an expert in all things alchemical....   [tags: character analysis, Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne]

Strong Essays
1119 words (3.2 pages)

Roger Chillingworth in Scarlet Letter Essay

- Throughout all forms of literature, the author will often provide situations and characters, each which can contain a strong symbolic meaning. Symbolism allows a character to be expressed as almost anything. Through the symbolism of a single character, any type of character trait, story, or way of life can be told. Also, a character can represent a strong and demanding feeling. One of these feelings is that of revenge, a controlling obsession possessed by a character. It is a problem that may lead to feelings or acts of sin and evil....   [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Strong Essays
1093 words (3.1 pages)

The Changing of Chillingworth throughout The Scarlet Letter Essay

- The Changing of Chillingworth throughout The Scarlet Letter The character of Roger Chillingworth in Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter is one of many different faces. Hawthorne changes the character of Chillingworth during different periods of the novel. As Chillingworth's actions and his motives change, so in turn does the reader's opinion of him, which ranges from compassion to antipathy. Hawthorne keeps the character of Chillingworth an enigma, and Hawthorne uses his narrative to shed light on the true feelings of Chillingworth, as well through the good doctor's interaction with other characters, especially Hester, Pearl, and Dimmesdale....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
931 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on Scarlet Letter, Chillingworth A Man Of Evil

- Chillingworth: a Man of Evil In the novel the Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne’s character Roger Chillingworth is supposed to represent the evil in the story. Hawthorne shows Chillingworth to be evil by several means. The physical description of Chillingworth shows him as an evil character. Statements are also made by Hawthorne referring to the inner content of Chillingworth that would lead the reader to feelings of his evilness. Another good way Hawthorne expresses that Chillingworth is evil is his name....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
432 words (1.2 pages)

Essay on Changes of Character in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

- The Scarlet Letter: Changes of Character The Scarlet Letter involves many characters that go through several changes during the course of the story. In particular, the young minister Dimmesdale, who commits adultery with Hester, greatly changes. He is the moral blossom of the book, the character that makes the most progress for the better. It is true that Dimmesdale, being a minister, should be the role model of the townspeople. He is the last person who should commit such an awful crime and lie about it, but in the end, he confesses to the town....   [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]

Free Essays
710 words (2 pages)

Roger Chillingworth in The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

- Roger Chillingworth in The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne In the novel The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, a character by the name of Roger Chillingworth had committed the worst sin of all; he basically killed another character, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. Everyone has been in a position where they have had the chance of blackmailing or plotting revenge on someone. Chillingworth did exactly that and ended torturing Dimmesdale to his death. Dimmesdale was not the single one affected by Chillingworth's devilish doings....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
582 words (1.7 pages)

Essay on The Powerful Character of Pearl in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

- The Powerful Character of Pearl in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter       One of the most significant writers of the romantic period in American literature was Nathaniel Hawthorne.  Hawthorne wrote stories that opposed the ideas of Transcendentalism. Since he had ancestors of Puritan belief, Hawthorne wrote many stories about Puritan New England.  His most famous story is the Scarlet Letter.  This novel tells of the punishment of a woman, Hester Prynne, who committed adultery and gave birth to Pearl.  A minister of Boston, Arthur Dimmesdale, had an affair with Hester while believing that her husband, Roger Chillingworth, had died.   However, Chillingworth did not die a...   [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]

Free Essays
1331 words (3.8 pages)

Essay Metamorphosis of the Letter A in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

- The Metamorphosis of “A” in The Scarlet Letter Six Works Cited In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, the meaning of the letter "A" changes throughout the novel. This change is significant as it indicates the personal growth of the characters as well as the enlightenment of the townspeople. When the novel begins, the letter "A" is a symbol of sin. As the story progresses the “A” slowly transforms to a symbol of Hester’s strength and ability. By the end of the novel, the letter “A” has undergone a complete metamorphisis and represents the respect that Hester has for herself....   [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]

Free Essays
796 words (2.3 pages)