Not quite. Years later, Hester actually returns to the colony, resuming the scarlet letter of her own will. When she dies, she's buried near the minister, and they share a gravestone marked with—what else?—the letter "A."
Answer: The Custom-House introduction does more than increase the length of the novel, which Hawthorne thought was too short. It also adds a frame story and a romantic sense of truth or non-fiction to the tale. It introduces themes and imagery that will appear later in the novel. And it adds weight to the story by suggesting that the actual fabric of the scarlet letter continues to hold power.
Those who seek revenge, such as Chillingworth, seem to loose control of themselves and revenge becomes their only purpose.
Real Life and Literary Instances of Revenge
Revenge is not confined to The Scarlet Letter: people often peruse it in real life, and it is a common motif throughout many works of literature.
Revenge is universal, with many people from all walks of life coming into contact with this bitter phenomenon.
Many literary works have used revenge as a theme, and Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel The Scarlet Letter harnesses it to great effect.
Nearly every character in the story, from the physician Roger Chillingworth to the female lead Hester Prynne, is afflicted with revenge in some way, whether they are taking revenge on someone or someone is taking revenge on them.
Roger Chillingworth is Hawthorne's shining example of revenge backfiring on the one who takes it.
For example, on page 95 of the novel, upon discovering that Dimmesdale was guilty of adultery with Hester, Chillingworth does a mad dance that "had a man seen old Roger Chillingworth, at that moment of his ecstasy, he would have had no need to ask how Satan comports himself, when a precious human soul is lost to heaven, and won into his kingdom."
A quote on page 17 of Bloom's analysis of the Scarlet Letter describes this phenomenon well: "Chillingworth's discovery (of Dimmesdale’s guilt) only increases his desire to exact "intimate revenge" on Dimmesdale, and he sets about doing so."
After Dimmesdale passes away in the book's climax atop the scaffold, the narrator relates to the reader in an aside on page 178 that "old Roger Chillingworth's decease took place within the year".
From Roger Chillingworth to Hester Prynne, many characters experience some form of revenge.
Both in real-life and in literature, revenge is very prevalent as seen in examples like The Count of Monte Cristo, The Princess Bride, and the Dachau Massacre.
Looking at revenge in the Scarlet Letter from a critical perspective, Hawthorne seems to want to convey that revenge is a consuming emotion.
Calm, gentle, passionless, as he appeared, there was yet, we fear, a quiet depth of malice, hitherto latent, but active now, in this unfortunate old man, which led him to imagine a more intimate revenge than any mortal had ever wreaked upon an enemy."
Undeniably, Revenge is one of the major themes in The Scarlet Letter.
Edmond Dantes seeks revenge against three enemies, and it takes control of him to the point where he takes it a bit too far, similar to Roger Chillingworth.
William Goldman's The Princess Bride is a fan favorite, but no one can forget the book's major theme of revenge in the often-repeated line "My name is Inigo Montoya.
Essentially: revenge doesn't only hurt the victim, but also the one who is carrying it out.
Revenge Quotes in The Scarlet Letter
Page 95 and 96- "The intellect of Roger Chillingworth has now a sufficiently plain path before it.
Since he had ancestors of Puritan belief, Hawthorne wrote many stories about Puritan New England. His most famous story is the Scarlet Letter. This novel tells of the punishment of a woman, Hester Prynne, who committed adultery and gave birth to Pearl. A minister of Boston, Arthur Dimmesdale, had an affair with Hester while believing that her husband, Roger Chillingworth, had died. However, Chillingworth did not die a...
The Scarlet Letter essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
The Scarlet Letter study guide contains a biography of Nathaniel Hawthorne, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
To the townspeople, Pearl is the living embodiment of the Scarlet letter. She was born out of the sin of fornication. To Hester she is the living embodiment of love.
Though at first a humble physician, Roger Chillingworth, slowly, through acts of his seeking revenge on his wife’s lover, Arthur Dimmesdale, he transforms into a parasitic leech, which eventually leads to his downfall....
In the novel The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the character Roger Chillingworth is no exception, but the burden of his revenge becomes so heavy that it leads to a transformation of character that is unprecedented.
Hester's husband tells the townspeople that he's a physician named Roger Chillingworth. He's a smart fellow, so he realizes pretty quickly that the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale is the likely father of Hester's baby. Obviously, his next step is to stalk the minister day and night. The minister is too afraid to confess his sin publicly, but he's feeling pretty guilty, not to mention from Chillingworth's constant examination, and also maybe in a little pain from strange red mark that's on his chest