Robert J. Boudreaux
February 14, 2007
Thesis Statement: Knowing Roger Chillingworth's background, his role in the book as a
symbol, and his obsession of torturing Dimmsdale are all important when analyzing his
A.Married to Hester Prynne
B.Sends Hester to Boston
II.Chillingworth as a symbol
A.Symbolized as the devil
B.Once a thoughtful man
III.Chillingworth's torturing Dimmsdale
C.He is at first thought by Dimmsdale to help him
Knowing Roger Chillingworth's background, his role in the book as a symbol, and his obsession of torturing Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale are all important when analyzing his character. Chillingworth's marriage to Hester is important to giving motive for his torture of Dimmesdale. Nathanial Hawthorne's use of Chillingworth as a symbol will also be discussed in this research paper. Learning why Chillingworth tortures Dimmsdale will help the understanding of his character.
Susan Van Kik says, "Roger Chillingworth, unlike Hester and Dimmesdale, is a flat character. While he develops into an obsessed fiend, he is less of a character and more of a symbol doing the devil's bidding." A writhing horror twisted across his features, like a snake gliding swiftly over them, and making one little pause with all its wreathed intervolutions in open sight (Hawthorne, 52). Hawthorne also describes that " he was small in stature, with a furrowed visage, which, as yet, could hardly be termed aged. There was a remarkable intelligence in his features, as of a perphysical to itself, and become manifest by unmistakable tokens." Chillingworth is consistently a symbol of cold reason and intellect unemcumbered by human compassion, Van Kirk describes. She also states that he is fiendish, evil, and intent on revenge (94).
When analyzing the character of Roger...