One of the key ideas presented to readers at the start of SL was that Hester and Chillingworth had had a complex relationship before. Hester Prynne, a young wife whose husband remains absent from the settlement, violates her marriage vows by engaging in a sexual relationship with the. and find homework help for other The Scarlet Letter questions at eNotes. While Hester Prynne stands on the scaffold in Chapter III, she is asked by Reverend.
Within the novel, the individual minor characters and the community as a whole articulate the strict code by which individuals are expected to live and by which they are judged when they engage in wrongdoing. For the seventeenth-century world that Hawthorne recreates, emphasis is placed upon the struggle between righteousness and sin.
Hester and Pearl in The Scarlet Letter by NathanielnHawthorne/Introductory Page
Hawthorne explores how this emphasis contributes to individual failings rooted in self-righteousness and self-justification. The act that precipitates the unfolding of the narrative occurs prior to the opening scene. Hester Prynne, a young wife whose husband remains absent from the settlement, violates her marriage vows by engaging in a sexual relationship with the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, a minister who seeks to establish his place among the Puritan divines of New England.
Jailed for her crime when her pregnancy becomes known, Hester is judged guilty of adultery. The novel opens as Hester is brought forth upon the scaffold to face public condemnation for her sin. While Hester stands upon the scaffold holding her newborn daughter Pearl, she sees her husband, who now goes by the name of Roger Chillingworth, standing at the edges of the crowd. She also sees her lover, Arthur Dimmesdale, standing in the company of Puritan ministers and officials.
A brave and strong-willed woman, Hester refuses to betray her lover, but realizes from her perspective on the scaffold that she must faces her trials alone, that neither of the men who has affected her life will openly be a part of her future. These four characters become entangled in a web of concealment, deceit, and revenge, a web that can only be broken by honesty, confession and forgiveness.
Dimmesdale gives an eloquent representation for Hester, and Chillingworth says "You speak, my friend, with a strange earnestness" It is with this suspicion that Chillingworth begins to show "special interest" in Dimmesdale. When Chillingworth first appears in the community he is well received. The town needs a doctor and the members of the town feel that it is an act of God that he arrives when Reverend Dimmesdale is becoming ill.
The fact that Chillingworth shows a special interest in Dimmesdale helps his acceptance in the community, but the community did not know his intentions.
Roger Chillingworth Character Analysis in The Scarlet Letter | LitCharts
Chillingworth's quest is to find out if his suspicion is, in fact, reality. In order to find this out, he must get closer to Dimmesdale: While living together, Chillingworth constantly digs for Dimmesdale to release his secret, but he will not reveal it, and his condition becomes worse. Finally, Chillingworth catches Dimmesdale sleeping and thrust aside the vestment to discover the letter "A" upon his chest. With no doubt in Chillingworth's mind about Dimmesdale's relation to Pearl, his torment toward him increases.
Chillingworth is now in complete control of Dimmesdale, whose health is deteriorating. Hester notices the deterioration of Dimmesdale's health, and she thinks that her faithfulness, in keeping Chillingworth's identity a secret, is to blame.
When she goes to Chillingworth and speaks to him about revealing his identity, he neither condones nor condemns her decision. While listening to the old man, she noticed how much he had changed over the past seven years. This new knowledge does not free Dimmesdale of Chillingworth's control.
But he need not have taken the trouble of doing so because the minister has in the meanwhile made up his mind to make a public confession of his guilt. When he tries to restrain the minister from making his intended confession, it is certainly not for a good that he means towards the priest but to prevent him from slipping from his hands. Thou hast escaped me! Ultimately, Chillingworth represents true evil who affects the other three characters.