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The Scarlet Letter: Roger Chillingworth

            In Nathaniel Hawthorne's, The Scarlet Letter, he describes the story as a "tale of human frailty and sorrow."" This is most likely due to the fact that all the main characters go through some sort of sorrow and hardship throughout the novel. Each is unique in it's own way and has a different effect on the character. Furthermore, each character has his/her own major flaw or sin. Roger Chillingworth, for example, had the flaw of seeking revenge. This completely consumed his life, and as you will soon see, he was unable to live without it. As his name suggests he is devoid of human sentiment. He is referred to as a leech because he feeds on the lives of others in order to accomplish his goals. Ultimately Roger Chillingworth comes to represent true evil. Roger Chillingworth's outlook throughout the story and his actions were very dependant upon his need for revenge. His vow to seek revenge had a negative affect on his life and the lives of others around him. Lastly, his fatal flaw led him to suffer dire consequences at the end of the novel.
             In the Scarlet Letter Roger Chillingworth's major flaw is revenge. He first vows to seek revenge on the father of Pearl during chapter 4 saying, "Thou wilt not reveal his name? Not the less he is mine. He bears no letter of infamy wrought into his garment, as thou dost; but I shall read it on his heart."" (75). This was the first but not the last time for which he will declare his revenge for Pearl's father. This fatal flaw leads to his sins of both anger and envy. "I must seek this man there is a sympathy that will make me conscious of him. I shall see him tremble. I shall feel myself shudder, suddenly and unawares. Sooner or later, he must needs be mine!" (75). This is one example of Chillingworth's envy throughout the novel. Chillingworth shows his anger in the novel when Hester refuses to tell Chillingworth who the father of her child is. He vows that he will get his revenge, that the man will never be safe and that justice will be had.

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