In the final chapter of The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne makes it clear that Chillingworth was the most sinful of all the characters in the novel. It is noted that, within a year following Dimmesdale's death, Chillingworth, with the source of his revenge gone and nothing more to live for, "positively withered up, shrivelled away, and almost vanished from mortal sight, like an uprooted weed that lies wilting in the sun" (Hawthorne 175). In the final chapter, Hawthorne also makes it clear that it was Chillingworth's selfish obsession with revenge which led to his tragic downfall. Thus, it is noted that: "This unhappy man had made the very principle of his life to consist in the pursuit and systematic exercise of revenge" (175). In addition to ruining his own life through his obsession with hatred and revenge, Chillingworth even lost his life when the purpose of his revenge, Dimmesdale, was no longer available for persecution and torment.
Throughout the novel, Chillingworth is described as being the embodiment of sin and evil. In fact, it has been noted that "from his first appearance Roger Chillingworth is described in demonic terms" (Hoffman 348). When he first comes to town and sees Hester standing on the scaffold, Chillingworth is pictured as being a slightly deformed man, with one shoulder higher than the other. Immediately, Hawthorne points out that Chillingworth's inherently sinful nature is connected to his deep-rooted selfishness. Thus, Chillingworth is described as looking at Hester "like a man chiefly accustomed to look inward, and to whom external matters are of little value and import, unless they bear relation to something within his mind" (Hawthorne 44). In this way, it is indicated that Chillingworth's sin is due in part to the fact that he is incapable of truly caring about his fellow human beings. In fact, as the rest of the novel shows, he only cares about his own selfish desire for revenge. Hawthorne's initial description of Chillingwort