Roger Chillingworth Pertaining To Human Interactions And Relations

1701 words - 7 pages

One might say that literature written centuries ago has nothing to do with life nowadays because of the style of writing and the actions of the characters. But there are some novels that embody passion, lawlessness, imagination, sorrow, deceit, and adultery. One novel that contains all these attributes is The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. A novel has to have a bad guy or else no one would want to read it. Antagonists bring controversy and excitement to any plot. One of the most famous antagonists is Roger Chillingworth. Roger Chillingworth is a one dimensional character who progresses throughout the novel from an intellectual botanist to an obsessed fiend, and symbolizes evil and the effects it has on one's body and soul.Roger Prynne marries Hester, a maiden ten years younger than he, and they live in England where he is an accomplished scholar and she is a lonely housewife. Roger Prynne sends Hester to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in Boston, Massachusetts and tells her to wait there while he finishes some unspecified business in England. Not far from Boston, the ship is caught in a storm and arrives at an unknown location. Native Americans, inhabiting this area, capture the passengers and detain them from their original destination the length of a year. While Roger Prynne is being held in captivity, he gains knowledge about the native plants and natural remedies the Indians use instead of man-made medicines.Roger Prynne thinks of Hester often while he is living with the Indians. He is also eager to rekindle his marriage with Hester after he receives permission to leave. He explains his love for her:My heart was a habitation large enough for many guests, but lonely and chill and without a household fire. I longed to kindle one! It seemed not so wild a dream, -old as I was, and sombre as I was, and misshapen as I was, -that the simple bliss, which is scattered far and wide, for all mankind to gather up, might yet me mine. And so, Hester, I drew thee into my heart, into its innermost chamber, and sought to warm thee by the warmth which thy presence made me. (SL 62)When Roger Prynne finally arrives at the Massachusetts Bay Colony, it is surprising to see the whole town gathering in the Market Place. He is accompanied by an Indian and speaks to a townsman to acquire the reason of this gathering."I pray you, good Sir," said he, "who is this woman? -and wherefore is she set up here to public shame?" "You must needs be a stranger in this region, friend," answered the townsman . . ., "else you would surely have heard of mistress Hester Prynne, and her evil doings. She hath raised a great scandal, I promise you, in godly Master Dimmesdale's church". (SL 52)In the conversation following the above text, Roger Prynne discovers that Hester is on the scaffold because she has been disloyal to her husband who sent her ahead of him from England. The husband has not yet been identified and the town suspects Hester has killed him. The townsman also tells...

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