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The Scarlet Letter There are many forms to degrade a person, some are deep wounds that can leave an imprint forever, and some go through one ear and out the other. There have been many occasions where one’s life is played upon, where the only solution is death. But there are two of those imprints I want to focus on; revenge and hatred and how these two abhorrent features can destroy a person physically and spiritually. Revenge is defined as to inflict punishment in return for injury or insult.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, “The Scarlet Letter”, we find that two characters exemplify this theme. Roger Chillingworth and Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale have an extensive conflict that portrays an example for us. “The clergyman’s shy and sensitive reserve had balked this scheme. Roger Chillingworth, however, was inclined to be hardly, if at all, less satisfied with the aspects of affairs, which Providence- using the avenger and his victim for its own purposes, and, perchance, pardoning where it seemed most to punish- had substituted for is black devices. In this quote from the book, it states that Roger Chillingworth, being the doctor of Dimmesdale, will use his medications against him. Chillingworth suspects of Dimmesdale committing a great sin that involves his “wife” Hester Prynne. “Calm, gentle, passionless, as he appeared, there was yet, we fear, a quiet depth of malice, hitherto latent, but active now, in this unfortunate old man, which led him to imagine a more intimate revenge than any mortal had even wreaked upon an enemy.
To make himself the one trusted friend, to whom should be confided all the fear, the remorse, the agony, the ineffectual repentance, the backward rush of sinful thoughts, expelled in vain! ” Chillingworth is taking advantage of being Dimmesdale so called friend, so he gets him to confess this reat sin that he is being suspected upon. He will be asking questions that will provoke Dimmesdale or rather make him think in such a way that he will express it physically. The reason why Dimmesdale seems to be sick is because of the secret sin he keeps inside, it’s destroying him.
Making him weak, pale, rather old, and putting him in a position where he believes that medicine will cure it. Dimmesdale being the preacher of the town will have a great spiritual agony that will haunt him through this life and the next, making this the spiritual sickness that will not leave unless he confesses. And the cause of this all would be Chillingworth. Hatred can destroy victim or attacker, being an intense dislike, extreme aversion or hostility. All of these aspects, Chillingworth was putting upon Dimmesdale, slowly making him pay for the sin. In a word, old Roger Chillingworth was a striking evidence of a man’s faculty of transforming himself into a devil, if he will only, for a reasonable space of time, undertake a devil’s office. ” He was going through stages of hatred that transformed him into something that he didn’t foresee. Chillingworth was turning into a devil within a blink of an eye. Hester said to Chillingworth while talking to him about Dimmesdale, “Since that day, no man is so near him as you. You tread behind his every footstep. You are beside him, sleeping and waking.
You search his thoughts. You burrow and rankle in his heart! Your clutch is on his life, and you cause him to Chillingworth is like a dark shadow haunting Dimmesdale every mille-second of the day, and Dimmesdale not knowing what Chillingworth’s real intensions are. In this case, hatred was destroying both Chillingworth and Dimmesdale, one turning into a “devil” and the other being tortured and pressured. With this I come to a conclusion that revenge, hatred, and a person, don’t mix well. Just like oil and water.
Think about having the conscience follow you throughout your life, that with a simple act of these implements you completely destroyed a person into pieces. It degrades him or her, self-esteem drops down to a low level, but most importantly you can put that person into a place where death is the only answer to escape. “A rattlesnake, if cornered will become so angry it will bite itself. That is exactly what the harboring of hate and resentment against others is – a biting of oneself. We think we are harming others in holding these spites and hates, but the deeper harm is to ourselves. ” ”E. Stanley Jones