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The Red Color Letter

Hawthorne's initial description of Chillingworth also brings Satanic images into play. Thus, it is mentioned that "a writhing horror twisted itself across his features, like a snake gliding swiftly over them" (Hawthorne 44). This "horror" relates to Chillingworth's realization that Hester has been unfaithful to him. This realization soon turns into an obsessive hatred of the man who loved his wife. As a result of this sinful hatred, Chillingworth deteriorates and becomes increasingly demonic as the novel progresses.

As part of his devious plan for revenge, Chillingworth befriends Dimmesdale and becomes the minister's personal

doctor. He even arranges for them to live together in the same house, all with the ulterior motive of vengeance in his mind. Hawthorne describes Chillingworth's actions toward Dimmesdale as a form of torture or cruelty. The sinful nature of Chillingworth's actions in befriending Dimmesdale is made evident by Hawthorne's words: "This diabolical agent had the Divine permission, for a season, to burrow into the clergyman's intimacy, and plot against his soul" (Hawthorne 88). Even the people of the town cannot help but notice the growing evilness of Chillingworth as he slowly carries out his vengeful plan. In fact, Chillingworth's face becomes so ugly and evil in appearance that the people begin thinking that Dimmesdale may be "haunted either by Satan himself, or Satan's emissary, in the guise of old Roger Chillingworth" (88). In a crucial scene, Chillingworth steals a peek at Dimmesdale's bare chest while the latter is sleeping. Presumably, the impression of the letter "A" is visible on Dimmesdale's chest, which convinces Chillingworth that he is on the right track in persecuting the minister. Hawthorne again describes Chillingworth in terms relating to sinfulness: "Had a man seen old Roger Chillingworth, at that moment of his ecstasy, he would have had no need to ask how Satan comports himself, wh...

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The Red Color Letter. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 11:24, August 17, 2017, from
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