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Worst Sinner in the Scarlet Letter


Individuals are not constantly what they seem to be. Roger Chillingworth in The Scarlet Letter shows that everyone sins but some people’s sins are even worse than others. The Scarlet Letter shows Chillingworth’s sins throughout the book.

One of Hawthorne’s intentions was having Chillingworth as the worst sinner, because he utilized his herbs to keep Dimmesdale alive-he prolonged Dimmesdale’s abuse, he used “black medicine”, and when Dimmesdale stopped taking the herbs, he died. Roger Chillingworth concerned town with the Indians, and Hawthorne explained them as castaways and dwellers of the forest.

Roger had actually found out all his tricks and medicines from the Indians and therefore had the ability to extend Dimmesdale’s abuse through using herbs. Chillingworth says, “Do not believe that I will lay a finger on him and interfere with Heaven’s work of penalty … let him live.” Chillingworth never ever physically laid a hand on Dimmesdale, but he kept him healthy using the herbs to make sure that Dimmesdale would withstand the abuse of his affair, psychologically and physically. Chillingworth knew exactly what he was doing to Dimmesdale.

He said it would have been much better had he passed away right now than sustain 7 years of vengeance. Here Roger is admitting that he has invested the last 7 years using his herbs to keep Dimmesdale alive because death would be too easy. Roger Chillingworth was referred to as offering “black medicine” to Dimmesdale. Him utilizing this was a way to punish Dimmesdale for wronging him. The term “black medication” remains in correlation with the devil, as if Chillingworth is acting as Satan to get back at Dimmesdale.

While talking with Dimmesdale he says, “Wherefore not; considering that all the powers of nature call so earnestly for the confession of sin, that these black weeds have sprung up out of a buried heart, to make manifest an unspoken crime?” Here, Chillingworth is revealing his usage of the “black medication”. What he is using are weeds he found at the cemetery, and he is describing them as nature’s punishment for people who have committed covert criminal activities. Chillingworth is hinting that the medicine he is giving Dimmesdale is nature’s way of ensuring Dimmesdale is getting the penalty he should have.

Roger’s sin here is that he is one with the devil and performing actions only the devil would use through the “black medication”. When he stopped taking part the herbs given by Chillingworth, sadly, Dimmesdale died. This is proof Chillingworth used the herbs to stall Dimmesdale’s untimely death. At their house, Chillingworth used Dimmesdale medication. “However methinks, dear Sir, you look pale; as if the travel through the wilderness had been too aching for you. Will not my help be requisite to put you in heart and strength to preach your Election Preaching? Dimmesdale handed down the medication, knowing Chillingworth’s objectives. Chillingworth was referred to as being a “leech” and feed off of Dimmesdale’s discomfort, however when he collapsed and passed away on the scaffold the next day, he had absolutely nothing delegated live for and passed away soon after. It is not a coincidence that Dimmesdale died so soon after being clean of herbs. Death was not a part of Chillingworth’s strategy, and Dimmesdale had the ability to escape Chillingworth’s torture by stopping his medications and passing away. Roger Chillingworth is the worst sinner in The Scarlet Letter.

He extended Dimmesdale’s abuse through herbs and was one with the devil. Roger Chillingworth never laid a hand on Dimmesdale throughout the book but he psychologically got to him over the seven years. The herbs kept Dimmesdale alive so Roger could get his revenge through the abuse. When Dimmesdale died after stopping the herbs Roger Chillingworth had absolutely nothing delegated live for, and died soon after, due to the fact that as the “leech”, he no longer had anything to feed off of. Roger Chillingworth was not constantly the guy that he seemed, he had something deeper in him and was the worst sinner.

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