The Scarlet Letter

How did the people feel about Roger Chillingworth? With what practices was he associated? How do these characterize his satanic nature?

Ch. 8:The Leech

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Friends and parishioners arrange for the two men to live in the same house. Since Dimmesdale has shown no interest in getting married, his congregation believes his life must be lonely and cold; living with his physician, then, seems like the perfect solution. For many, it seems like the hand of God. But, the narrator wants us to know, there were those in the community who had their doubts about these arrangements because they formed their judgment not on eyesight, but through the "intuitions of the heart" (9.17).

These doubters feel that Chillingworth has changed since he first came to town. At first, he had appeared like scholar, but now there was something "ugly and evil in his face" (9.17). The townspeople begin to change their opinions of him, fearing that Dimmesdale is being haunted and hunted by Satan himself in the guise of Chillingworth.