The Scarlet Letter

6. How does Hawthorne keep Chillingworth from becoming a simple stereotype of a villain?

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It takes awhile for the character of Chillingworth to come into focus. When we first encounter him outside the prison we can question his motivations for coming to the village. Does he still have feelings for Hester? What is his interest in Pearl. Hawthorne's narrative shows a change in Chillingworth both physically and emotionally. As his search for the "truth" about Hester's infidelity intensifies, so does his obsession with destroying Dimmesdale and eventually Hester and Pearl. He ceases to feel positive emotion for anybody, including himself. His misery and hate eat away at him, making Chilingworth both tragic and evil.