Scarlet Letter Essay

Submitted By Tristanshipman1
Words: 741
Pages: 3

"No man for any considerable period can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true." Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote a fabulous book, in which he titled “The Scarlet Letter.” Many problems were told of, but the main one being the crime of adultery. The woman, Hester Prynne, who committed the crime is said to be the protagonist of the novel. Though there have been many debates on who the antagonist is of the book, there is only one main antagonist. Because of the slyness, the evil personality, and the revenge seeking, Roger Chillingworth is the antagonist of the book.

Firstly, the antagonist of the book is Chillingworth because of his sneakiness and slyness. Amidst the problems Hester is having, no one realizes what Chillingworth is doing. For one, he is hiding his true identity. He tells Hester to actually not reveal what is actual identity is to anyone in the town. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t want to be associated with an adulterer, or maybe this is where his sneakiness tricks everyone. This is when he starts trying to use his slyness to figure out who the father of Pearl is. His name change and different identity allows him to go through the town without anyone knowing who he actually is. Secondly, he hides his motives from everyone in the town. While he plays it off very well that he just wonders who the father is, when he finds out, that’s when he plans his revenge on that man. If no one knows why he really wants to know who the father is, they can’t stop him from doing whatever he does to that person. Chillingworth uses his sneakiness to his advantage in the book, while also making himself the antagonist.

Secondly, the antagonist of the book is Chillingworth because of his evil personality. While Hawthorne never directly talks about Chillingworth’s evil personality, it’s there. The first sign of his sinister personality is when he is described physically. His twisted, stooped, deformed shoulders mirror his distorted soul. Chillingworth's physical description immediately brings to mind an evil man, much like the evil characters of fairy tales whom are described of as being ugly and of having piercing eyes, all of which describe Chillingworth. Another sign of his personality, is the way Hawthorne talks about Hester’s and his marriage. From what the reader is given, Chillingworth, in his early years with Hester, was an intolerable husband. He ignored his wife for much of the time, yet expected her to nourish him with affection when he did decide to spend time with her. From the beginning of the book, indirectly, Hawthorne gives little details about Chillingworth’s personality.

Lastly, Chillingworth is the antagonist because of his need to seek revenge. What once began for Chillingworth as an act of vengeance, slowly transformed into a life of…