Hester’s husband from the Netherlands. Chillingworth arrives in Boston on the day that Hester is publicly shamed and forced to wear the scarlet letter. He vows revenge on the father of PEARL, and he soon moves in with Arthur DIMMESDALE, who Chillingworth knows has committed adultery with his wife. His revenge is frustrated at the end of the novel, when Dimmesdale reveals that he is Pearl’s father before dying. Chillingworth, having lost the object of his hatred, dies soon thereafter. is known as the devils handyman, and is filled with evil.
Strong woman with independent mind, brave and defiant, mother of Pearl, lover of Rev. Dimmesdale.
-In the Scarlet Letter, Very beautiful; youthful looking with dark hair and eyes; “feminine” according to the time: air of dignity, not grace or eloquence; after receives the scarlet letter and hides hair from the world she loses this air, youthfulness and beauty. Very passionate.
-“A beautiful puritan woman full of strong passions, Hester Prynne is the main character in the story. Employed as the village seamstress, she is strong and caring, helping anyone she can when he or she are in need. With a penitent heart, Hester travels through the story becoming only a shadow of her former passionate loving self. Other than the scarlet letter, she was a very moral woman whose only joy in life was her daughter Pearl. “
– must wear the scarlet letter A on her body as punishment for her adulterous affair with Arthur Dimmesdale
– married to Roger Chillingworth, but while Hester awaited her husband’s arrival from Amsterdam, Netherlands, she met Dimmesdale and engaged in the adulterous affair, which led to Pearl’s birth.
– passionate, strong; speculates about human nature, social organization, and larger moral questions
– a scholar from Oxford University who achieved fame in England as a theologian and then emigrated to America. In a moment of weakness, he and Hester became lovers. Although he will not confess it publicly, he is the father of her child. He deals with his guilt by tormenting himself physically and psychologically, developing a heart condition as a result.
– an intelligent and emotional man, and his sermons are thus masterpieces of eloquence and persuasiveness. His commitments to his congregation are in constant conflict with his feelings of sinfulness and need to confess.
-dies on the platform where Hester was first punished
-holds independent position of Collector, which allows him to avoid the politicized shuffling of positions.
– protects the other men from being fired, which is why many of the employees are old.
– resembles a traditional English aristocrat.
– strictly adhere to the rules, but he is easily swayed by Dimmesdale’s eloquence.
– remains blind to the misbehaviors taking place in his own house: his sister, Mistress Hibbins, is a witch.
SL governor of the town, tries to take PEARL from HESTER but DIMMESDALE convinces him not to, present at HESTER’s punishment
– hypocritical old man; follows strictly by the rules except in matters involving his sister
– considered one of the happiest workers, likely because he knows he will never be removed from his post.
– stereotypical Puritan father, a literary version of the stiff, starkly painted portraits of American patriarchs.
– Like Governor Bellingham, he follows the community’s rules strictly but can be swayed by Dimmesdale’s eloquence.
– Unlike Dimmesdale, his junior colleague, he preaches hellfire and damnation and advocates harsh punishment of sinners
-The historical figure on whom this character is based was an English-born minister who arrived in Boston in 1630. He is a symbol of religious authority and, combined with Governor Bellingham, of the Puritan Theocracy.
– killed for being a witch after the novel’s events.
– sneaks into the woods during the night to conduct covert business in the service of “The Black Man.”
– sometimes grouped with HESTER
– rides with the “Black Man” at night
– hears Dimmesdale shrieking from the scaffold at night
– based upon an actual figure in history who was executed as a witch
– provides perspective on characters’ actions throughout the story
-is a symbol of super or preternatural knowledge and evil powers.
– the living sermon to the Scarlet Letter
– illegitimate daughter, a young girl with a moody, mischievous spirit and an ability to perceive things that others do not
– lacks Christian decency; tosses burrs at Hester’s scarlet letter
– quickly discerns the truth about her mother and Dimmesdale.
– barely seems human to the townspeople who spread rumors that her unknown father is actually the Devil.
– wise far beyond her years, frequently engaging in ironic play having to do with her mother’s scarlet letter
-Hester’s daughter who signifies her sin and all she gave-up.
-is the embodiment of her parents sins
– Pearl, from her name to her comfort with nature, is also the most pure character in the novel.
– admits Hester’s husband under the name of Robert Chillingworth, a physician
– surprised that when Chillingworth entered, Hester and the baby were silenced
– “‘Nay, if your worship can accomplish that,’ answered ______, ‘I shall own you for a man of skill indeed! Verily, the woman hath been like a possessed one; and there lacks little, that I should take in hand to drive Satan out of her with stripes'” (68).
– passes away on the night of the “A” meteor
also represents hester as a character, linking to the fact that they have both survived through all things
Stage 2-A symbol of Ability
Stage 3-A Symbol of an Angel (Righteousness)
-that the Governor was an “Angel”
-that Dimmesdale must also wear the “A”
-that we all see what we need to see in events.
-it also embodes the “good versus evil” fight the is seen in romantic writings.
-The forest was where they could escape from the city’s corruption.