The Scarlet Letter

why chilling suspect for dimesdale.

accurate in one scenes of skafford

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Why does Chillingsworth suspect Dimmesdale in the first scene? I believe he enters the story in chapter two........ let me fo grab my novel.

In Chpater 3, Dimmesdale places his hand over his heart. This gesture will reappear and grow in significance during the novel. In this chapter it is meant to show his distress in failing to confess his own part of the adulterous affair. At the same time, the gesture of the hand over the heart is the same one that Hester makes when she remembers the scarlet letter. Hawthorne brilliantly connects Hester's openly displayed shame with Dimmesdale's secret shame by having both characters touch the spot where the scarlet letter is displayed.

In Chapter 4, Chillingworth says, "Thou wilt not reveal his name? Not the less is he mine. He bears no letter of infamy wrought into his garment, as thou dost; but I shall read it on his heart." The connection between the scarlet letter and the heart was already made in previous chapters, when Hester placed her hand on the letter and Dimmesdale clutched his heart to hide his shame. Thus the reader can infer that his heart will somehow reveal Dimmesdale's secret. This does in fact occur, as a result of Chillingworth feeling Dimmesdale's heart while the reverend is sleeping.

At this point, Chillingsworth suspects, but he isn't sure.