Analyze how Hawthorne uses the relationship between Chillingworth and Dimmesdale to develop the theme of evil and sin.
Book: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne — Chapter 10: The Leech and His Patient and Chapter 11: The Interior of a Heart
It can be reasonably inferred that the main reason Chillingworth tells Dimmesdale he found the dark weeds on the grave of a young man he believes died with an unconfessed secret is because
after investigating the unmarked grave, Chillingworth has discovered this to be a fact.
Dimmesdale is a minister and he might offer forgiveness to this young man even after death.
Chillingworth hopes to guilt the reverend into sharing his own unconfessed sins.
until the reverend confirms, Chillingworth has no way to know if his guesses about the dead man are true.
Which piece of evidence from p. 49 best supports the answer to the previous question?
“Many, many…in reputation.”
“A knowledge…that problem.”
Which of the following best characterizes the relationship between Dimmesdale and Chillingworth at this point in the novel?
Chillingworth seeks revenge by torturing Dimmesdale, who welcomes the mistreatment because he sees it as a just punishment.
Both men have guilty consciences and deserve to be punished for their sinful acts. Both have decided to look to God for justice and forgiveness.
Both men have sin in their hearts and have decided that they deserve each other. Each has taken it as his duty to punish the other.
Dimmesdale is so consumed with guilt for his sins that he fails to be as suspicious of Chillingworth as he should rightfully be.
Which character is guilty of the greater evil (or sin), Chillingworth or Dimmesdale? Use evidence from Chapters 10 and 11 to support your answer.