Symbolization of Chillingworth as the Devil in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

Symbolization of Chillingworth as the Devil in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

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Nathaniel Hawthorne crammed The Scarlet Letter with religious symbolism. One of the most interesting symbols is that of Chillingworth as the devil. All through the novel there are numerous indications and relations that verify the fact that Chillingworth is a delegate for the king of darkness.

One of the various ways Chillingworth serves as the devil’s advocate is by being the antithesis of Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, the palpable Jesus figure of the narrative. Chillingworth keenly sets out to devastate Dimmesdale, as Hawthorne informs us when referring to Chillingworth's unearthing of Dimmesdale's secret, “All that guilty sorrow, hidden from the world, whose great heart would have pitied and forgiven, to be revealed to him, the Pitiless, to him, the Unforgiving!” The capitalization of the words "Pitiless" and "Unforgiving" confirm that Chillingworth is Satan in human form. Symbolically, on an additional, more perceptible note, Chillingworth steals one of Dimmesdale's gloves and drops it on the scaffold in the middle of the town. The sexton returns it to Dimmesdale saying, "Satan...

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