The Scarlet Letter

Two contrasting views of Chillingworth and his relationship to Dimmesdale are held by the people of Boston. Describe both the favorable and unfavorable views in your own words. Tell which one fits the situation better.

Chapter 9

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Dimmesdale is originally considered a blessing to the town because he moves in with Dimmesdale whose health seems to be declining. However, the longer he is in town, the more people are suspicious of him; they begin to see him with the look of the devil on his face.

On one hand, the townspeople are for the most part thrilled with the way the relationship between the two, Chillingworth and Dimmesdale, men is working out. However, on the other hand, a few townspeople have more innate intuition and are skeptical of the physician's true motives. They sense that Chillingworth has undergone a profound change since arriving in Boston, going from a genial old man to an ugly and evil person. Thus, "it grew to be a widely diffused opinion that the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale ... was haunted either by Satan himself, or Satan's emissary, in the guise of old Roger Chillingworth.”