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What does Chillingworth discover when Reverend Dimmesdale is sleeping in Chapter 10 and...

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confused123 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 10, 2009 at 6:17 AM via web

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What does Chillingworth discover when Reverend Dimmesdale is sleeping in Chapter 10 and how does he react to this discovery?

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hstaley | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted September 10, 2009 at 11:45 PM (Answer #1)

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At the end of Chapter 10 when Dimmesdale fell asleep, Roger Chillingworth "thrust aside the vestment that, hitherto, had always covered it from the professional eye."  What did he see?  He saw the letter A which Dimmesdale had been cutting into his chest from the moment Hester was punished for their sin.  He was the one who sinned with Hester and being the reverend for the town, could not admit it so he had personally been punishing himself in silence.  As for Roger's reaction, he was delighted.  He was filled with ecstasy but it was tinged with evil, devilish delight.  He finally had his proof as to who his wife and slept with and now, he could put forth even more revenge.  He was compared to Satan with the way he was dancing around with happiness because, even though he was happy, it was such a disturbing happiness that no one would truly feel happy.

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mlsldy3 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted November 19, 2014 at 5:32 PM (Answer #2)

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When Dimmsdale suddenly becomes ill, his congregation becomes very concerned for him. He walks around and suddenly will clutch at his chest in pain. People think he is having heart problems. Since Dimmsdale lives alone, Chillingworth convinces the town leadership to let him move in with the reverend.

Chillingworth moves and starts to take care of Dimmsdale. Chillingworth is Hester's husband. He had sent her to American, but never followed through on his promise to follow her. She spots him while she is on the scaffold. He warns her to keep his identity a secret. Since Dimmsdale doesn't know that he is her husband, he doesn't realize what the man is up to. Chillingworth is trying to find out who the father of Pearl is. He is confused to the illness that Dimmsdale is suffering from and can't find a cure for him. One day when Dimmsdale is asleep, Chillingworth sneaks over to him and pushes his shirt aside. He then sees a mark on the man's chest. He is thrilled to find what he has been looking for all this time.

Now that Chillingworth has the prove that Dimmsdale is the father of Pearl, he can plan his revenge on Dimmsdale. He reacts with joy and dances around when he finds the hidden mark on Dimmsdale chest. 

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