In the novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorn the characters each had a very distinct trait or characteristic. Hawthorn develops this characteristic through out the entire novel. Roger Chillingworth was the educated husband of Hester, when he returns from being kidnapped by Indians he finds Hester on the scaffold, with her child Pearl being punished for adultery. From that moment his evilness awakens, becomes an addiction and eventually kills him. .
In the beginning when Roger first saw Hester on the scaffold his heart lusted for revenge for the man who had done this to her. Later when Roger went to administer medication to baby Pearl he makes Hester promise to keep the secret of their marriage between the two of them. "It may be," he replied, "because I will not encounter the dishonor that besmirched the husband of a faithless woman. It may be for other reasons. Enough, it is my purpose to live and die unknown. Let, therefore, thy husband be to the world as one already dead, and no tidings shall ever come. Recognize me not, by word, by sign, by look! Breath no the secret, above all to the man thou worthiest of. Shouldst thou fail me in this, beware! His fame, position, his life, will be in my hands. Beware!" "I will keep thy secret, as I have this," said Hester. (71) Through this promise Roger now had Hester in his evil clutch and would not be shamed by her sin and could now deal with Hester's lover on his own terms.
Although Hester never revealed the identity of her lover, Roger suspected that it was the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. He became a friend with Arthur and the community. Arthur himself believed Roger when he claimed he was helping Arthur because he was sick. When Roger found out that it was Arthur he was joyous. "Had a man seen old Roger Chillingwoth, at that moment of his ecstasy, he would have no need to ask how Satan comforts himself when a perdious human soul is lost to heaven, and won into his kingdom.