The Scarlet Letter Chapter 14 Summary And Analysis
As Hester takes a walk with her daughter Pearl on the peninsula, she catches sight of Chillingworth and immediately sends her daughter to play by the shore as she converses with her husband. Hester is astonished at the physical changes in Chillingworth the same way she was surprised by the young minister’s spiritual decay and aging. Upon realizing that Chillingworth is under the Devil’s influence, she feels she is responsible for another destruction.
According to her reasoning, her promise to Chillingworth caused him to evil acts to Dimmesdale. At first, Chillingworth denies his actions. He, later on, admits that, even though he was once gentle, affectionate and kind, he has allowed himself to be a vessel of evil. Chillingworth now believes it is his destiny to become a demon. He then frees Hester from their agreement of keeping silent.
A Brief Analysis of the Chapter 14
Over these seven agonizing years, Chillingworth grew obsessed with vengeance. This grievous sin has also significantly changed him. He pities Hester since he believes that she is not sinful. She has already suffered her lot for breaching God’s law many times through wearing the Scarlet letter A.
Moreover, he believes that if Hester had met someone better than him earlier before, the evil that now abounds would not have been. On the contrary, he also insists that it has now become his fate to transform from a true, just and kind man to an agent of Satan.
The author demonstrates the effect of the past seven years on Chillingworth’s personality by juxtaposing the two characters in this chapter without Hester’s daughter. We can view the scholar’s former personality that evokes pit for him regardless of how he treated Dimmesdale. We can also feel that among Dimmesdale, Hester, and Chillingworth, Hester is the one who has paid for her sins and is deserving of respect.