One consequence of sin in the scarlet letter is that the sinner acquires the ability to recognize the sins of others. What is the same for Chillingworth, dimmesdale?  

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pirateteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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Both Dimmesdale and Chillingworth gain the ability to see the sins in others.  Chillingworth is immediately drawn to Dimmesdale.  He picks Dimmesdale as his spiritual advisor and even moves in with him in an effort to get to know him better.  While living together, Chillingworth tells stories and asks questions of DImmesdale in an effort to get to know his secret.  In chapter 10 Chillingworth tells Dimmesdale a story about a man who died with a secret on his heart.  Because he didn’t tell the secret before he left, weeds grew out of his heart.  Chillingworth hopes this will convince the weakened Dimmesdale to unload the burden of his secret.


Dimmesdale becomes a stronger minister because he is able to speak to sins in a way other ministers cannot.  While other ministers can quote scriptures, Dimmesdale knows what it means to sin and live with guilt; therefore his sermons are more impassioned and effectual for his audience.


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