Chillingworth And Dimmesdale

Topics: The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne, John Winthrop Pages: 2 (574 words) Published: April 22, 2015
Danny Li
10/29/12

Chillingworth and Dimmesdale

As Chillingworth grows closer to Dimmesdale, their relationship begins to mirror that of Pearl and Hester; like Pearl is to her mother, Chillingworth is a constant reminder of Dimmesdale's past sins and is not only obsessed with discovering the reverend's secret, but is also strangely drawn toward Dimmesdale's chest (just as Pearl is drawn toward the scarlet A). After returning from the graveyard where he gathered some herbs, Chillingworth tries to manipulate Dimmesdale into revealing his secret: "They grew out of his heart, and typify, it may be, some hideous secret that was buried with him, and which he had done better to confess during his lifetime"(123). Chillingworth attempts to guilt Dimmesdale into confessing his sins through manipulation. He enjoys playing with Dimmesdale and at the same time is unrelenting when it comes to discovering the truth. Chillingworth's actions parallel Pearl's manipulation of Hester: "But she said it with a hesitation that did not escape the acuteness of the child[...] she put up her small forefinger, and touched the scarlet letter. "He did not send me!" cried she, positively. "I have no Heavenly Father!""(93). Hester and Reverend Dimmesdale both have people in their lives who serve as constant reminders of their sin. Just as Pearl is physically drawn to the scarlet letter on Hester's chest, oftentimes touching it, Chillingworth is drawn toward Dimmesdale's chest, going as far as peaking at it after the Reverend falls asleep. Additionally, Pearl and Chillingworth are similarly perceived by the Puritan community. Pearl is called an Elf-Child and many deem her to be possessed by the Devil. The only reason Pearl is not taken away from Hester is because society deemed Pearl to be a form of punishment. While Chillingworth was once perceived as calm and scholar-like, the Puritan society ends up seeing him as "evil and ugly"(120). Many believed that Chillingworth was the reason...
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