By developing the increasingly obsessive relationship between Chillingworth and Dimmesdale in his novel “The Scarlet Letter” Nathaniel Hawthorne uses similes and metaphors to emphasize the demonic qualities that eventually subjugate both men. These analogies underscore how this obsession has destroyed the physical and spiritual states of both men, thus revealing how humans have a tendency to allow the wounds of an insignificant conflict to linger and fester into a dangerous obsession that will ultimately destroy them. Hawthorne establishes the vengeful, obsessive nature of Chillingworth in the beginning of the novel, using analogies that foreshadow how his quest may evolve into more of an infatuation than a simple plot of revenge. When Chillingworth visits Hester in jail, he reveals his intentions to seek the lover of Hester as he has “sought truth in books” and “sought gold in alchemy” (52). This shows very early in the book that Chillingworth’s search for the truth may take over his life. The extent he is willing to seek revenge becomes evident when Hester asks Chillingworth if he is like the Black Man that haunts the forest surrounding them and if he intends on ruining her soul; Chillingworth replies “Not thy soul…No, not thine!”(53). This indicates that Chillingworth has a demonic quality growing inside of him and that he is intent on torturing the soul of the lover of Hester who is eventually discovered to be Mr. Dimmesdale. Hawthorne describes the relationship between Chillingworth and Dimmesdale as being “For the sake of the minister’s health, and to enable the leech to gather plants with healing balm in them” (84). This passage uses a metaphor to expose the increasing obsession Chillingworth has with Dimmesdale. By calling Chillingworth a leech, while at the same time saying that he is attempting to heal Dimmesdale, Hawthorne reveals that Chillingworth is only attempting to heal him, so that he can enjoy the suffering of Dimmesdale for a longer time. Chillingworth’s obsession has caused him to lose sight of his original goal of revenge, and to now attempt to relive that revenge repeatedly. Hawthorne continues to develop the decay and destruction caused by the intense obsession between Dimmesdale and Chillingworth, highlighting the physical decay of both “The Leech and his Patient”(88). Hawthorne first notes the physical decay of Chillingworth by reminding the reader of his former expression which, “had been calm, meditative, scholar-like” and then describing his face as “ugly and evil”(87). Hawthorne then continues to explain that, “his [Chillingworth] visage was getting sooty with the smoke…[because] the fire in his laboratory had been brought from the lower regions, and was fed with infernal fuel”(87). This shows how Chillingworth is being destroyed from the inside out and the destruction of his spirit has already occurred, but it is only at this point that the evil inside him “grew more obvious to the sight, the oftener they looked upon him”(87). Chillingworth’s “remarkable change” occurred as a result of “his abode with Mr. Dimmesdale”(87). Although the physical changes in Chillingworth are remarkable, they hardly compare to the complete physical transformation of Dimmesdale from a godly saint who has a “freshness, and fragrance, and dewy purity of thought…which affected them like the speech of an angel”(46), into a weak, pain-stricken old man who can barely walk. Dimmesdale’s demise is expressed by Hawthorne when he suggests “his dawning light would be extinguished”(82). This indicates the decay has taken take…
The Danger of Blood Transfusions
In 1989 the number of diseases that blood banks tested for on a regular basis increased to five. They were Human T-lymphotropic virus 1(virus pre-leukemia), T-cell leukemia (cancer of white blood cells), syphilis, hepatitis B, AIDS and hepatitis C (WT90). Now, 23 years later blood banks have added eight new diseases that they must scan for. A blood specialist, Dr. Charles Huggins says that blood “must be considered…
11 December 2012
The Dangers of Forced Religion
Many children are born into families with predestined beliefs. They grow up forced into following what their parents believe through years of pressure and influence. However, when religion is forced upon individuals, harmful effects can occur. It can lead to a lost sense of self or instill fear and oppression which can distress them into adulthood. Forced religion is dangerous, because it obstructs an individual’s…
problem that we all have to face in our society today. Drunk driving is a crime that is very dangerous and very deadly to everyone. Many people drive under the influence of alcohol every day. It also leads to thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries yearly.
The death rate per year due to drunk driving is off the charts and is even higher for injuries. People die in car crashes every day because of this entirely preventable crime. It is estimated that every 52 minutes someone is killed…
The Danger in Finding Meaning
“Those who read the symbol do so at their peril” –Oscar Wilde
Finding a piece of art that excels all others is finding a piece of one’s own soul by accident. Why is it that this piece stood out above all others? Why is it that this piece intrigued thy mind? Why is this piece creating a calamity in the mind? Why is this piece so eccentric? These questions arose with the piece I chose. As I looked around the room I could not find anything that gave me an awe feeling;…
The Dangers of Gender
Hinduism society has told women that they are not as important as the men in their society are. They have burned it into the women’s minds that they cannot own any property or even remarry after they are widowed because they are not worth the trouble. Western societies also believe that women are the “weaker” sex. A Christian theologian from the thirteenth century, Thomas Aquinas, said;
Woman is the gate to the…
Video Game Obsession
When video games were first sold, they were just that, games. In modern times, they are sophisticated and so real to life with visuals and graphics I fear it is affecting our youth in several unimaginable ways. Family time has all but disappeared. We have accomplished a newer, faster way to make friends with common interests without ever having to leave home. It may be too mature and complex for younger people to understand, therefore leaving a large gap between two generations…
Dangers Of Smoking
Smoking is a down right filthy habit that affects not only your health, but the health of others around you. A pity on your children if you smoke around them.
And as governments continuously impose higher taxes on tobacco, the costs of lighting up can run into the thousands per year for each smoker.
So why do people still smoke? Simple answer - nicotine addiction!
When you are aware of the dangers of smoking cigarettes, you can persuade yourself and others to quit the habit…
Discuss the impact of Victors obsession in Mary Shelley’s frankenstein
In your response consider the effect on other characters and the extent to which it reflects the social concerns of the day.
The obsession that we are exposed to within Mary Shelley’s epistolary novel is of monomaniacal ambition that provides a forewarning of the dangers in relation to scientific advancement emerging from the industrial revolution. Within this gothic horror, the main character, Victor, experiences detrimental…
William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” is an intriguing parable that uses grotesque imagery to explore a culture unable to cope with its own decline. The short story takes place in the South, during a time period of racial discrimination and major political change. Miss Emily Grierson, the main character, is the subject of many tongues in the decrepit town of Jefferson because she chooses to seclude herself inside her home away from the outside world. An unusual timeline, present…