Dr. Carlos González High School
Aguada, Puerto Rico
Kayla C. Rivera Lorenzo
Mr. W. Jimenez
January 30, 2013
Who is Roger Chillingworth? Want is his role in the novel The Scarlet Letter? Roger Chillingworth, unlike Hester and Dimmesdale, is a flat character. While he develops from a kind scholar into an obsessed fiend, he is less of a character and more of a symbol doing the devil’s bidding. Once he comes to Boston, we see him only in situations that involve his obsession with vengeance, where we learn a great deal about him. The reader at first will feel sorry but as the novel goes on you will see the real intention of Roger Chillingworth and how evil will reflect upon him.
Hawthorne begins building this symbol of evil vengeance with Chillingworth’s first appearance in the novel by associating him with deformity, wilderness, the Indians, and mysterious power. Having just ended over a year of captivity by the Indians, his appearance is hideous, partly because of his mixture of “civilized and savage costume”. Even when he is better dressed, however, Chillingworth is far from attractive. According to the novel he is small, thin, and slightly deformed, with one shoulder higher than the other. Although he “could hardly be termed aged”, he has a wrinkled face and appears “well stricken in years”. The study of herbs and medicine learned from the Indians later link his work to the “black medicine” and helps him keep his victim alive.
The reader feels a bit sorry for Roger Chillingworth during the first scaffold scene when he arrives in Massachusetts Bay Colony and finds his wife suffering public shame for an adulterous act. At that point, however , he has several choices and he chooses revenge. His rude awakening is described a second time in chapter 9 when Hawthorne calls him “a man, elderly, travel-worn, who, just emerging from the perilous wilderness, beheld...