Cause and Effect: the Scarlet Letter

Topics: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne Pages: 3 (1262 words) Published: December 15, 2010
Cause and Effect: The Scarlet Letter
Set in Boston, in the Puritan times of the 1940’s, the book, The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is about a young girl named Hester Prynne who commits adultery with the town’s minister, Arthur Dimmensdale. Hester is married to a man named Roger Chillingworth, a scholarly man, who sent her to Boston years earlier while he settled his affairs in Europe. Years passed and Chillingworth arrives in Boston to find his wife on a Scaffold being accused of adultery. After this, Chillingworth lusts for revenge, and is determined to find the father of Hester’s baby, Pearl. Throughout the novel, Chillingworth undergoes a change that transforms him from a respectable gentleman, to a suspicious and determined man, and thus to a man compared to the devil. This change is all caused by Hester’s sin.

In the beginning of the Novel, Chillingworth arrives in Boston looking for his wife, Hester. He sees that she has committed adultery, so he decides to stay in Boston instead of leaving so he can find the father of the baby. In the first chapters, the townspeople and the reader see Chillingworth as a man of respect, who cares for others. Chillingworth decides to disguise himself as a “doctor” with his knowledgeable skill. He creates different natural medicines to help out the people of the town. The townspeople praise him for his help as a volunteer doctor of the town. For example, when Chillingworth is put in Hester’s jail to help calm her, he says to the jailer, “Please, friend, leave me alone with my patient… trust me, my good jailer—there will be peace here shortly. And I promise you that Mistress Prynne will be more obedient from now on.” This quote demonstrates how he is a nice man, who is willing to help others. Chillingworth is also an odd looking man, with a deformed shoulder. The reader has a sense of sorrow and sadness for him because of his looks, and now he is known as the man whose wife cheated on him. Anyway, when...
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