The Struggles of Roger Chillingworth

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Ariel C. Lorenzen
Mr. Zirretta
CP English 11-1
26 October 2011
“SO ROGER Chillingworth—a deformed old figure, with a face that haunted men’s memories longer than they liked—took leave of Hester Prynne, and went stooping away along the earth. He gathered here and there an herb, or grubbed up a root, and put it into the basket on his arm. His gray beard almost touched the ground, as he crept onward…Would not the earth, quickened to an evil purpose by the sympathy of his eye, greet him with poisonous shrubs, of species hitherto unknown, that would start up under his fingers? Or might it suffice him, that every wholesome growth should be converted into something deleterious and malignant at his touch? Did the sun, which shone so brightly everywhere else, really fall upon him? Or was there, as it rather seemed, a circle of ominous shadow moving along with his deformity, whichever way he turned himself? And whither was he now going? Would he not suddenly sink into the earth, leaving a barren and blasted spot, where, in due course of time, would be seen deadly nightshade, dogwood, henbane, and whatever else of vegetable wickedness the climate could produce, all flourishing with hideous luxuriance? Or would he spread bat’s wings and flee away, looking so much the uglier, the higher he rose towards Heaven?” (Hawthorn 158).

Should a man know his own deepest darkest desires? One can see the struggles of Roger Chillingworth and the consequences of nature through this paragraph; it deals with the contrast of light and dark. In Hawthorn’s The Scarlett Letter, Hawthorn uses dashes that provide addition thought about Chillingworth, omitting commas and slowing down the pace of the sentence, bifurcation to show contrast between Chillingworth’s fate, and particular word choice that may suggest different meanings of the text.

Hawthorn uses dashes to set off an appositive alluding to the fact that people think of him as a creepy old man. He is so spine-chilling...
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