Scarlet Letter

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In Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, there are two characters that have many sinister or evil qualities, but if one looks closer, he or she can see that one character is far more evil than the other. “To make himself the one trusted friend, to whom should be confided all the fear, the remorse, the agony, the ineffectual repentance, the backward rush of sinful thoughts, expelled in vain!” (Hawthorne 107). Dimmesdale may be a cowardly adulterer, but Chillingworth is a two-faced, evil, liar. Actions Dimmesdale performs are through fear, whereas Chillingworth is consumed by evil revenge. Although Dimmesdale has some terrible personal qualities and two wrongs don’t make a right; Chillingworth is the worse of two evils. Dimmesdale’s guilt has brought out the worst in him. He feels as though if he comes clean with his sin as Hester did, then he will never be forgiven and his place as a minister will be taken over. So, instead of just dealing with his punishment, he decides to let his fear and shame take ahold of him. In Dimmesdale’s eyes, beating himself is better than confessing. “Alas! To judge from the gloom and terror in the depths of the poor minister’s eyes, the battle was a sore one, and the victory anything but secure” (Hawthorne 98). Dimmesdale is also fearful of what will come of him in the battle of life. Chillingworth is keeping secrets and backstabbing his unknowing friend. He has Hester promise not to reveal his identity, while he finds the father of Pearl. Once he discovers the father is Reverend Dimmesdale, he goes into Dimmesdale’s home as a physician, but his real motivation is to make him feel even worse and tear him down little-by-little. Dimmesdale begins to see Chillingworth as a friend, up until the day that he is forced by the taunting agony Chillingworth is only making worse, to leave the room at once. “In this unfortunate old man, which led him to imagine a more intimate revenge than any mortal had ever reeked upon another” (Hawthorne 107)....
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