Book Review: The Scarlet Letter

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The Scarlet Letter’s Biggest Sinner
According to the Bible, the Devil sought more power than he already had. He wanted the power that God has. When he wages war and loses, he is thrown to hell, but his hunger for power never ceases. He punishes people for their sin to gain more power and pleasure. The Devil is, nevertheless, the worst sinner, and a parallel is drawn to Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. In his novel, Hawthorne presents the reader with three sinners: Hester, Dimmesdale, and Chillingsworth. It is clear in the novel that all of them are wrongdoers. Dimmesdale’s and Hester’s adultery causes them to be spiritual transgressors, but Hester’s sin is revealed to the village while Dimmesdale’s is a secret. Chillingsworth’s intentional fiendish behavior is what makes him an evildoer. Even though all of these people are sinners, Chillingsworth’s maliciousness and similarities with the devil makes him the biggest sinner. Because the devil intends to harm and torture others, Hawthorne’s portrayal of Chillingsworth as a devil also shows his maliciousness. A man who could see Roger Chillingworth, at the moment he realizes that Hester committed adultery, “would have had no need to ask how Satan comports himself, when a precious human soul is lost to heaven, and won into his kingdom. But what distinguished the physician’s ecstasy from Satan’s was the trait of wonder in it!” (Hawthorne 115). Here, the author shows parallelism between Chillingsworth and Satan: The two gain the same amount of pleasure in inflicting pain on another person. Chillingsworth is fully aware that he is about to torture someone. Also, Chillingsworth is preparing to punish another person for that person’s sin. Dimmesdale did commit adultery, which is a sin, but the devil is the one who punishes someone for his sin. The Devil’s intent is to gain power for himself through torturing and bounding sinners to his kingdom. Similarly, Chillingsworth is torturing Dimmesdale and playing the Devil’s...
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