The Character of Chillingworth in The Scarlet Letter Essay

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The Character of Chillingworth in The Scarlet Letter



Old Mr. Prynne began his new life in the town of Boston as the Physician Roger Chillingworth. The moment he arrived, the town deemed him intelligent and mild mannered; he always seemed pleasant although a little odd. Throughout the seven years he remained in Boston, his character changed so dramatically from admirable to evil that even those who did not know him personally seemed to notice an evil nature deep within his soul trying to break free.



Chillingworth stood with Hester Prynne within the confines of the prison, talking with her about how he would go about finding her lover. He says to her,
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"Hester looked at the man of skill, and even then, with her fate hanging on the balance, was startled to perceive what a change had come over his features, --how much uglier they were, --how his dark complexion seemed to have grown duskier, and his figure more misshapen..." (Pg.103). Hester is not the only person to notice the change in Chillingworth; many of the townspeople recognize the changes in him as well, "At first his expression had been calm, meditative, scholar-like. Now there was something ugly and evil in his face, which they had not previously noticed, and which still grew more obvious to sight the oftener they looked upon him" (Pg. 117). Slowly but surely Roger Chillingworth is changing from a man with normal interests, to a man with an evil obsession; every day he is getting closer and closer to the dark side.



Later on during the story while Hester and Chillingworth are in the woods talking about Dimmesdale, Hester shouts at Chillingworth, "You search his thoughts. You burrow and rankle in his heart! Your clutch is on his life and you cause him to die daily a living death!" (Pg. 156) Hester knows Chillingworth has more evil in his blood than ever before in his life; he feeds off the pain he causes Dimmesdale and enjoys every minute of it. Chillingworth doesn't realize in the slightest how much more evil flows through his veins now, than did before in his life. It
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