The Scarlet Letter (Chillingworth)

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December 7, 2012
Revenge: A Leech’s Worth
Revenge can take a person’s life over. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Roger Chillingworth begins seeking revenge and becomes completely obsessed with getting what he wants. Roger Chillingworth seeks his revenge on Arthur Dimmesdale. Roger Chillingworth is taken over by revenge; ultimately resulting in the physical and mental decay of his body and soul.

In the opening of the novel Roger Chillingworth deformities are not as noticeable, but his deformities increase in size. He arrives in town, and begins to seek revenge. He begins his search for Hester’s child’s father. His physical description is given to show his deformities “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 person who had so cultivated his mental part that I could not fail to mould the physical to itself, and become manifest by unmistakable tokens” (Hawthorne 42; ch. 3). His deformities become more noticeable and more severe by the end of the novel. Hawthorne’s portrayal of Chillingworth symbolizes his evil and unforgiving characteristics toward life. His flat and unchanging attitudes towards revenge become worse; just as his deformities develop to be more novel severe.

Roger Chillingworth comes into the as a man that possesses remarkable intelligence, and in a great mental state. However, his thirst for revenge overcomes his mental stability until his thoughts are completely consumed with the thoughts of revenge. His thoughts of seeking revenge on Arthur Dimmesdale only become stronger. He is overcome by his revenge so much he cannot treat Dimmesdale properly. “The intellect of Roger Chillingworth had now a sufficiently plain path before it. It was not, indeed, precisely that which he had laid out for himself to tread. Calm, gentle, passionless, as he appeared, there was yet, we fear, a quiet depth of malice, hitherto latent, but...
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