The Consequences of Unrequited Love
Why does love sometimes turn into hatred? If someone is said to have loved another then why do people feel hatred and seek vengeance when realizing the feeling is not mutual? Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of The Scarlet Letter, and Arthur Miller, author of The Crucible, effectively depict the consequences of unrequited love through their characters’ Roger Chillingworth and Abigail Williams’s desires for vengeance. Both these authors use the notion that there is a thin line between love and hate. Roger Chillingworth and Abigail Williams both sought vengeance for similar reasons. They sought revenge because their feelings of love were unreciprocated, they felt inadequate in the eyes of their beloved, and they both sought unhappiness for the ones that caused them pain.
First of all, Roger Chillingworth and Abigail Williams felt the need for revenge because they felt the love they had offered to their beloved ones was not rightly reciprocated. Chillingworth’s desires for vengeance arose when he returned from a long trip to Europe to find his wife being ridiculed and confronted in front of the town’s people for having committed adultery and given birth to a child out of wedlock. Chillingworth seems to feel betrayed and the reader can sense his pain when he questions Hester Prynne, his wife, “Dost thou remember me? Was I not, though you might deem me cold, nevertheless a man thoughtful for others craving little for himself,--kind, true, just, and a constant, if not warm affections?” (Hawthorne 118). Here, the reader can see that Chillingworth questioned Hester to try to decipher why she betrayed him in such an awful manner. After Chillingworth had been so good to her and to others, he questioned himself and her as to why she did not love him the way he loved her. Chillingworth seemed to want vengeance for her wrongdoing, but instead left it to the scarlet letter embroidered on her bosom to avenge him. Furthermore,...
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