Why does Hester fear Chillingworth in "The Scarlet Letter"?

Why does Hester fear Chillingworth in "The Scarlet Letter"?

Expert Answers info

mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write16,149 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

In Chapter XIV of "The Scarlet Letter," when Hester speaks with Roger Chillingworth to try to rescue Dimmesdale from his influence, she is "shocked and well  wondersmitten" as she witnesses the changes which have come over her former husband.  For, his appearance has changed from that of a "studious, intellectual, and vigorous" face to a "fierce, searching, yet guarded" aspect. Hester perceives a "blackness" to him, with a "red light in his eyes." She now realizes that Chillingworth has embraced evil into his own heart and gone beyond the original intentions Hester thought them to be when he tells her in Chapter IV:  "He [Dimmesdale] will be mine."

Realizing that Chillingworth has transformed himself into a "devil" who has...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 464 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

amy-lepore eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2005

write3,513 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial


tabbycat1ster | Student

the reason why Hester fears Chillingworth is because she commited adultry when she was married to him although she thought he was dead, and also she is afraid that he is ging to do something crazy because he vows to kill Pearl's father who is Dimesdale.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial