Nathaniel Hawthorne accentuates the behavior of the manipulative savage, Roger Chillingworth, throughout the complex novel, The Scarlet Letter, in order to convey the theme on the obsession for revenge. According to Tomas C. Foster,” we need to find what drives the character if we want to know what drives the novel” (Foster 181). As the reader furthers into the novel, he/she can interpret Roger Chillingworth’s relevance toward the theme and his drive.
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter is a study of the effects of sin on the hearts and minds of the main characters, Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale, Roger Chillingworth. Hester, Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth. Sin strengthens Hester, humanizes Dimmesdale, and turns Chillingworth into a demon.
The Scarlet Letter is a novel about a woman named Hester Prynne that had an affair with a minister named Arthur Dimmesdale and had a baby, which caused Hester’s husband, Roger Chillingworth, which was gone at the time on business, to get revenge on both Hester and Dimmesdale. Chillingworth makes their lives miserable and soon, Hester
Roger Chillingworth is a vile man who hides his disgrace of having a disloyal wife and finds pleasure in tormenting the poor Arthur Dimmesdale. When he comes to town at the beginning of The Scarlet Letter, Chillingworth makes Hester promise not to tell anyone that he is her real husband.“ ‘Breath not, to any human soul, that thou didst ever call me husband!’…’because I will not encounter the dishonor that besmirches the husband of a faithless woman…’”(Hawthorne 52-53).
Though never forced to don a branding like the letter “A” in The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, people in modern society are always remembered along with their act of wrongdoing. However, the subjects of the public judgement may not see their choices as immoral. People shame for a difference in beliefs and morals. For instance, Kim Kardashian, a popular reality TV star attained her own personal fame by making a sex tape with rapper Ray J, and, consequently, was shamed in the headlines. Despite the bashing, Kim did not see why her act was deemed shameful. Kim acts as a modern day Hester Prynne because she underwent the same humiliation from her society.
In Nathanial Hawthorne’s famous standard of American literature, The Scarlett Letter, Hawthorne examines individual cases of sin occurring within society known for its intolerance of sin and strict religious principles, the Puritans. In The Scarlet Letter , each of the main characters, whether protagonist or antagonist, are guilty of a sin or form of “evil”. However, one character stands out from the rest. This character is guilty of the worst form of malice and evil in the entire book. His name is Roger Chillingworth. By reviewing his sinful actions, motivations and personality, as well as the different symbols Hawthorne creates to represent him, the true extent of Chillingworth's evil becomes apparent.
Throughout, “The Scarlet Letter,” Hawthorne is able to enhance the plot by intricately incorporating symbols which represent a deeper meaning. One of which, is the infamous, and ambiguous, scarlet letter that lays upon the bosom of Hester Prynne. In the beginning of the book, the audience is immediately introduced to the scarlet letter as a symbol of shame and adultery. The narrator describes the Puritan society as very judgemental and harsh. Comments like, “This woman has brought shame upon us all, and ought to die,” creates this negative and unwelcoming atmosphere which surrounds Hester for a majority of the book. From then on, the Puritans constantly refer to the
“Be true! Be true! Be true! Show freely to the world, if not your worst, yet some trait whereby the worst may be inferred” (Hawthorne). As this sentence is read in the The Scarlet Letter, the reader will realize that the main theme of the book is the sentence above. Throughout the book, secret sin damages the lives, soul, and the integrity of the main characters. However, it could have easily been evaded through open confession of their sins. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s purpose in writing this novel is an attempt to influence the reader to openly confess their sins and never be ashamed of who they are. According to Levine, “even though we convey ourselves as saints, we are really sinners (Levine 64). The Scarlet Letter is a classic work of
In Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, the theme of sin viewed through the prism of many colors is the essence of the novel. The protagonist, Hester, her child, Pearl, and the Reverend Dimmesdale all live in a Puritanical society in Boston, and are subject to the Puritans' strict religious beliefs and rigid attitudes. Exposed to sin and the temptation of its concealment in varying degrees, these characters evolve through the novel in different ways. Hawthorne brilliantly displays these differences by juxtaposing extreme and vivid colorsconcealment is shown in dark, drab, and gloomy shades, while openness has a bright and colorful sheen. In this way, Hawthorne establishes a dichotomy between lack of color and color in order to show
In the book "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne there is a theme that is referred to as "rugged individualism". The concept of rugged individualism was brought to light by Karl Marx and it is the idea that an individual can do more for themselves than what the government can do for them. This term is applied to people who usually stick out among the masses and usually have little respect for the customs that society usually follow hence the idea on why they think they can do better for themselves without the help of the government. Th traits that are usually possessed by these people can benefit them, cause them to fail, or ironically both can happen where they fail but the outcome can benefit them. In the book we see two characters
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a novel about guilt and innocence in Boston, Massachusetts during the 1640s. Hester Prynne, the protagonist of the novel, is a beautiful married woman who has committed adultery and had a child while her husband was lost at sea. She is now forced to bear the scarlet letter on her chest to let the public know what sin she has committed. Roger Chillingworth is Hesters lost husband who has returned back from seas to learn that his wife has been unfaithful to him. He has devoted himself to finding who Hesters lover is and seek revenge on him, even if it wreaks him. Arthur Dimmesdale is the town’s reverend and Hesters secret lover. He is in continuous conflict against himself since he is supposed to be
Throughout a novel, the character of the protagonist is sometimes revealed through his/her thoughts, words, and actions. These thoughts and actions are conveyed by the author, who develops a specific tone towards these characters, often through his/her choice of words. This tone towards the characters often changes throughout the novel, due to significant events. Such is the case in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Scarlet Letter. Hawthorne effectively portrays the three protagonists of the novel in both positive and negative manners, through his use of word choice and tone. Hester Prynne, a woman condemned by her community for adultery, is described as admirable due to her generosity and bravery. Her husband, Roger Chillingworth, who due to
Conflict can take on many forms in one’s life, such as conflict with self, with society, with religion and with others. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, develops the theme of conflict through the moral sin of Hester Prynne. Conflict is observed through Hester’s difficulties with the townspeople, challenges with the Puritan way of life, struggles with herself and tensions with Roger Chillingworth. Committing sin in the Puritan society leads to a great deal of conflicts.
In The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne analyzes Hester, Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth. In the story, Hester is the main character of the story and was called Mistress Prynne (Hawthorne 70). Dimmesdale, in the story was referred to as Reverend Dimmesdale (Hawthorne 90). Chillingworth was originally named, Roger Prynne but later in the story he changed his name to Roger Chillingworth. In the story, Hester committed adultery with Dimmesdale against Chillingworth and in the beginning she got punished and sent to prison and later she got to get out of prison but with the exception of having to wear the letter A on her breast every time she went out in to town.