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The theme of revenge in nathaniel hawthornes the scarlet letter

It is the driving force behind the actions of the main antagonist Roger Chillingworth.

In the novel his obsession for revenge is seen as an uncontrollable desire that consumes the character. Chillingworth told his wife, Hester Prynne, that he would find the adulterer and have him punished. He witnessed the suffering of his wife and wanted the same for the man.

The Scarlet Letter

He also made it clear to his wife that he will not take revenge on her or her newborn child. His revenge and hatred was saved solely for the man that defiled his wife.

He is called upon to attend the very sick Reverend Dimmesdale. When Chillingworth makes this discovery something inside of him changes. He evolves from an angry spiteful person into a madman. He becomes obsessed with torturing Dimmesdale. Instead of treating his patient in an attempt to heal him, he inflicts more guilt and suffering.

The Scarlet Letter Theme: Revenge We have so large base of authors that we can prepare a unique summary of any book. How fast would you like to get it? We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails. Chillingworth becomes good friends with Dimmesdale and moves into his house so he can remain close and torment him.

Chillingworth causes misery by discussing secrets, and their power, which increases the painful guilt he has for his own sin. Revenge finally destroys Chillingworth when Dimmesdale decides to leave for Europe with Hester and Pearl. Chillingworth desperately tries to persuade him to stay by stating that leaving with Hester would taint his honor. When this plot fails he buys passage on the ship so he could remain close and continue his persecution. Dimmesdale, finally consumed by his guilt, confesses his great sin in front of the community and then suddenly dies of heart failure.

Chillingworth had spent the last few years of his life obsessed with torturing Reverend Dimmesdale.

  • Is Hester's scarlet letter a form of revenge?
  • In the novel his obsession for revenge is seen as an uncontrollable desire that consumes the character.

As a result Chillingworth loses his reason for living and dies one year later. In the end revenge killed one man and destroyed the other. Works Cited Hawthorne, Nathaniel.