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The Beast Within

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The Beast Within

Dr. Chillingworth is the most immoral character in The Scarlet Letter. This is most evident when he intentionally terrorizes Dimmesdale, blames Hester for adultery, and marries a young, beautiful girl. Although there were a few other immoral characters in the novel, he is the most immoral. He displayed poor self-control, and a lack of reason. He was unable to see his own fault and this stood out throughout the novel.

Although Chillingworth was keeping Dimmesdale alive, Chillingworth did not have sane reasons for doing so. Chillingworth kept him alive so that he could torture Dimmesdale who was already in enough agony. This proves to be one of the reasons that Chillingworth is the most immoral character. Once Chillingworth became suspicious of Dimmesdale, he moved in, and "aided" Dimmesdale along as he aged and deteriorated from guilt. Over time, Chillingworth pried at information and brought up subjects that triggered Dimmesdale's deepest emotions. In a few occasions, Chillingworth blatantly stated that his intent was to harm Dimmesdale.

Furthermore, Chillingworth is the most immoral because he felt it was all Hester's fault. Chillingworth should never have married such a young beautiful women. It is clear that Hester is beautiful, making guys fall head over heels for her, making being unfaithful more tempting. He should not have sent her away alone. Although Indians held him captive, Hester could in no way find out what happened to her husband. At some point, she has to try to move on. She couldn't have held on forever. Most likely, she had thought he had left her or had died. Chillingworth does take some of the blame, but nowhere near as much as he should have.

Chillingworth's sole ambition in life was Dimmesdale's pain. Chillingworth thrived on Dimmesdale's pain. He emotionally terrorized Dimmesdale throughout seven years. Chillingworth is in large part, part of Dimmesdale's own emotional agony, due to his persistence and torturous ways. Throughout the book the narrator tells of the subtle, agonizing remarks Chillingworth throws towards Dimmesdale. He knowingly admits to his sole purpose in life becoming revenge, and refers to himself as a fiend. "...A mortal man, with once a human heart, has become a fiend for his especial torment! (Hawthorne, 150)." Then, shortly after Dimmesdale's death, Chillingworth died. Ironic no?

Chillingworth transformed throughout his life from an intentive scholar to an impulsive "fiend." Chillingworth states the he has "...Grown to exist only by this perpetuasl poison of the direst revenge!,"(Hawthorne, 150). He had become a brute and lost touch with himself. His sole purpose in life was torture. Although he was torturing Dimmesdale, he also was killing himself. There is something to be said about his almost immediate death in the weeks following Dimmesdale's.



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