While many authors employ dialogue to develop characterization, in Chapter IX of The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne makes little use of it, instead employing other methods such as
- physical descriptions of the character,
- the character's actions,
- the comments and reactions of other characters, and
- direct statements giving the narrator/writer's opinion of the character.
The first three methods are indirect methods of characterization, and the fourth method is direct characterization.
Certainly,in direct characterization (4), Hawthorne creates a sharp contrast of Roger Chillingworth with both Hester and the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. For, while Hester's ignominy is public and her sin overt, Chillingworth hides his connection to Hester lest he, too, be on "a pedestal of shame." Instead of exposing himself, then, Chillingworth embarks upon a darker purpose. As narrator, Hawthorne notes that men of science like Chillingworth often
lost the spiritual view of existence amid the intricacies of that...
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