The Scarlet Letter Chapter 9 Summary And Analysis
Ever since he appeared in the town, Chillingworth has received a warm reception by the community due to his profession as a doctor as well as his keen interest in Arthur Dimmesdale, their clergyman. Some townsmen view him as a blessing since he came at the right time just when Dimmesdale was ailing.
Even though Dimmesdale does not have a strong belief in medication, he has agreed to be under the care of Chillingworth. Subsequently, these two men begin spending more time together and finally move into the same house after Chillingworth’s suggestion.
Eventually, some villagers grow suspicious of Chillingworth’s increasingly wicked appearance. Soon, rumors start spreading about his indulgence in black magic start gaining momentum. Most of the townspeople believe that either Satan himself or one of his agents is using Chillingworth to test the minister’s soul. However, they believe that Dimmesdale is strong enough to overcome his tormentor.
A Quick Analysis of the Chapter 9
Known as “The Leech,” Chapter 9 brings out a double meaning in the definition of “leech.” Dimmesdale’s condition deteriorates under the weight of his guilt. The public also has mixed opinions on Chillingworth’s influence on the minister. Though the citizens view Chillingworth as a blessing to their minister, they also suspect that his proximity to Dimmesdale might be the cause of Dimmesdale’s deterioration.
“Leech” gains a double meaning in that Chillingworth is preparing seemingly complicated medications learned from the Indians while on the other hand, he is sucking the life out of the minister.
Chillingworth’s evil and devious nature becomes stronger in this chapter so much so that the townspeople begin to notice. However, due to their strong faith, they believe Dimmesdale’s goodness shall prevail. Dimmesdale also discusses his soul’s secrets with Chillingworth but never discusses the top secret of which Chillingworth is dying to hear.