Dimmesdale and Chillingworth

Topics: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Novel Pages: 2 (753 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Characterization is a literary element used by the author to present qualities of characters in a literary piece, the purpose of characterization is to make characters credible and make them suitable for the role they play in the work. Authors present various characters possessing dissimilar qualities, to emphasize different aspects of the work. In the novel "The Scarlet Letter", the author Nathaneil Hawthorn's depiction of the two male characters, Arthur Dimmesdale and Roger Chillingworth, emphasizes the moral problems of the seventeenth century puritan society. Hence, their different characters contribute vitally to the plot of the novel.

Arthur Dimmesdale, the Reverent and the protagonists' lover, was not a very powerful character. At his first appearance in the novel, Hawthorne describes his impressive and skilful preaching and calls to the reader's attention his physical features such as his eyes and his hair. Hawthorne also marks the power that Dimmesdale gets when he is preaching which contradicts his actual weak character. Since Dimmisdale was a very respected person, his hideous adultery crime of forbidden love was totally unexcitable, and his fear to face his society reflected his weak character. Dimmesdale was put into great pressure when he was notified by the public to persuade Hester to confess who the father of her baby was, this caused his constant wounding of heart, which also stresses on his weak character. Dimmesdale's health was lead to rapid deterioration, so he went to visit Roger Chillingworth, the real husband of the character Hester, and one of the few doctors in town; by that time, Chillingworth had already known that Dimmesdale was the one that committed adultery with his wife. Chillingworth made Dimmesdale suffer by exaggerating his illness, and humiliating him with guilt of his sin "a bodily disease which we look upon as whole and entire within itself, may, after all, be but an ailment in the spiritual part". the fragility...
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