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Roger Chillingworth

for English 301
by

Mary A

on 5 December 2014

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Transcript of Roger Chillingworth

At the beginning
"small in stature" (57)
had a wrinkled face, but didn't look too old
"furrowed visage, which, yet, could hardly be termed aged" (57)
looked smart
one shoulder "rose higher than the other" (57)
has a "bitter smile" (59)
Roger Chillingworth:
His Appearance throughout
The Scarlet Letter

Chapter 3: The Recognition
so this means??
Chillingworth is an intelligent man, who thinks a lot
There is something crooked about him (not just his shoulders!)
Chapter 4: The Interview
creepy eyes:
"The eyes of the wrinkled scholar glowed so intensely upon her that Hester clasped her hands over her heart, dreading lest he should read the secret there at once." (72)
what does that mean??
Chillingworth's eyes give us a glimpse of what's inside him: evil
Time Progresses
Chapter 8: The Elf-Child and the Minister
older and uglier than before:
"[Hester] perceived what a change had come over his features - how much uglier they were - how his dark complexions seemed to have grown duskier, and his figure more misshapen" (106)
what does this mean??
Chillingworth's sin in not admitting his identity as Hester's husband has begun to manifest in his outward appearance
It Gets Worse
Chapter 10: The Leech and His Patient
his eyes (again!)
"a light glimmered out of the physician's eye, burning blue and ominous, like the reflection of a furnace, or let us say, like one of those gleams of ghastly fire that darted from Bunyan's awful doorway in the hillside and quivered on the pilgram's face" (121)
what does that mean??
at this point, Chillingworth has begun his process of tormenting Dimmesdale
his eyes reflect this villainy
Hawthorne also alludes to John Bunyan's
Pilgrim's Progress
, which details the journey of a Christian to heaven and the trials he faces
He looks even scarier
Chapter 12: The Minister's Vigil
as a comet shoots across the sky, Chillingworth's features are highlighted:
"To his features, as to all other objects, the meteoric light imparted a new expression on the physician; or it might be well that the physician was not careful then, as at all other times, to hide the malevolence with which he looked upon his victim." (146)
what does that mean??
this confirms the odium that Chillingworth has for Dimmesdale
Chillingworth Ages
Chapter 14: Hester and the Physician
"[Hester] was shocked...to discern what a change had been wrought upon him within the past seven years. It was not so much that he had grown older; for though the traces of advancing life were visible, he bore his age well and seemed to retain a wiry vigor and alertness. But the former aspect of an intellectual and studious man, calm and quit,which is what she best remembered in him, had altogether vanished and had been succeeded by an eager, searching, almost fierce, yet carefully guarded look." (160)
what does that mean??
At this point, Chillingworth has tortured Dimmesdale with his secret
his sins are evident in his appearance
just as his character has changed from an intellegent man to a cunning fiend, Chillingworth has begun to look more sinister
he is also trying to hide his sin in smiling, but this is not successful
you can tell something's going on by just looking at him!
"It seemed to be his wish and purpose to mask this expression with a smile; but the latter played him false, and flickered over his visage so derisively, that the spectator could see his blackness all the better for it. Ever and anon, too, there came a glare of red out of his eyes; as if the old man's soul were on fire, and kept on smouldering duskily within his breast, until, by some casual puff of passion, it was blown into a momentary flame. This he repressed, as speedily as possible, and strove to look as if nothing of the kind had happened." (160)
Other descriptions:
"a deformed old figure, with a face that haunted men's memories longer than they liked" (166)
"a smile which...conveyed secret and fearful meaning." (223)
"black-visaged, hump-shouldered doctor," (232)
When it all comes together
Chapter 23: The Revelation of the Scarlet Letter
As Dimmesdale is about to confess, Chillingworth "thrust himself through the crowd - or, perhaps, so dark, disturbed, and evil, was his look, he rose up of some nether region - to snatch back his victim from what he sought to do!" (239)
as Hester and Dimmesdale climb the scaffold, Chillingworth follows, as "one intimately connected wih the drama of guilt and sorrow in which they had all been acors, and well entitled, therefor to be present, at its closing scene." (240)
what does that mean??
as the consequences of Chillingworth's crimes have come to fruition, he looks more dark and sinister than ever
although the general public does not know his guilt, his actions and expression clearly betray his participation in Hester and Dimmesdale's grief
In the End
Chapter 24: Conclusion
"All of his strength, and energy - all his vital and intellectual force - seemed to desert him; insomuch that he positively withered up, shrivelled away, and almost vanished from mortal sight, like an uprooted weed that lies wilting in the sun." (246)
what does that mean??
since Chillingworth's heinous acts have been exposed, he shrivelles up like a weed in the sun
he had one purpose in life,revenge on Hester, and once it was accomplished he had no reason to live (see rest of 246)
"In a word, old Roger Chillingworth was a striking evidence of man's faculty of transforming himself into a devil, if he will only, for a reasonable space of time, undertake a devil's office. This unhappy person had effected such a transformation, by devoting himself, for seven years, to the constant analysis of a heart full of torture, and deriving his enjoyment thence, and adding fuel to those fiery tortures which he analyzed and gloated over." (160-161
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