How does Chillingworth's name relate to his character in The Scarlet Letter?

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stkd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Chillingworth's name relates to his character because it is evocative of his personality and connects to his actions in the novel.  After learning of Hester's affair and the birth of Pearl, Chillingworth becomes bent on revenge for being wronged.  This choice--to make others suffer as he had--rather than the Christian choice of charity and good will towards other, can be considered a "chilling" choice.  Similarly, when he begins to suspect Dimmesdale's psychological distress is connected to Hester, he moves in the Dimmesdale and begins to test the minister, which only furthers Dimmesdale's torment.  Again, this choice of the bad over the good is "chilling" to read and to consider.  Through his actions, the narrative reveals him to a cold and unfeeling character that does not wish to help relieve the pain of others--rather, he revels in it and aids in its continuance.

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The Scarlet Letter

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