One example of indirect characterization for Roger Chillingworth comes when the narrator describes his reaction to seeing Hester upon the scaffold. The narrator says,
A writhing horror twisted itself across his features, like a snake gliding swiftly over them, and making one little pause, with all its wreathed intervolutions in open sight. His face darkened with some powerful emotion, which, nevertheless, he so instantaneously controlled by an effort of his will, that, save at a single moment, its expression might have passed for calmness. After a brief space, the convulsion grew almost imperceptible, and finally subsided into the depths of his nature.
In comparing his facial expression to a snake, the narrator creates a simile that seems designed to make us think that Chillingworth has some evil in his nature. Snakes are often symbolic of evil as a result of the snake's role in the book of Genesis. Not only does the description hint at Chillingworth's evil, but it also implies that he is...
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