Describe the author’s characterization of Dimmesdale.
Analyze the developing relationship between Dimmesdale and Chillingworth
Book: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne — Chapter 9: The Leech
The main purpose of the line, “if Providence should see fit to remove him, it would be because of his own unworthiness to perform its humblest mission here on earth,” on p. 42, is to
reveal the conflict between Dimmesdale’s self-image and the townspeople’s image of him.
introduce Dimmesdale as a humble Christian servant who wants the best for the people of Boston.
list the reasons Dimmesdale hoped to die at a young age.
describe Chillingworth’s initial impression of Dimmesdale.
Over the course of the passage, the townspeople’s feelings about Chillingworth shift from
confusion about his true identity to belief that he is in fact a doctor trained in both European and Native medicine.
awe at the mystery and miracle of his arrival to anger at his inability to offer a cure to their minister.
gratitude for the medical help he brings Dimmesdale to suspicion that he is here to cause harm to the reverend.
suspicion of the stranger who appears suddenly to trust based on the medical knowledge he so clearly possesses.
Both Dimmesdale and Chillingworth suffer from internal struggles that are causing external physical symptoms. Explain each man’s struggle and symptoms using evidence from the text.