Presentation on theme: "Scarlet Letter Chapters 9 and 10 Brought to you by Claire Altany, Emily Leach, and Jamie Edge."— Presentation transcript:
Scarlet Letter Chapters 9 and 10 Brought to you by Claire Altany, Emily Leach, and Jamie Edge
Summary Chapters 9 and 10 provide an in depth look at the relationship between Dimmesdale and Chillingworth. Upon returning to the colony, Chillingworth renamed himself as such in an attempt to lose his past and start over. Along with assuming a new personality he takes up the job of being a doctor. At the time, there weren’t usually many doctors in towns, so ‘Roger Chillingworth M.D’ was welcomed in-no questions asked. Reverend Dimmesdale has apparently fallen ill and because he refuses to marry, Chillingworth insists he move in with Dimmesdale to act as a personal doctor. When Chillingworth firsts moves in, the town is grateful for his value of Dimmesdale’s well being, however as time goes on, the town becomes increasingly skeptical of Chillingworth’s past and notes he has a harsher look about him which they suspect is work of the devil. After living together for a while, Chillingworth becomes increasingly fascinated with figuring out all he can about Dimmesdale. Dimmesdale is careful about what he says and refuses to reveal anything to Chillingworth, but he persists anyway. Chillingworth was always gathering things to use as medicine and one day Dimmesdale asks him about an odd looking weed. Chillingworth says he found it growing out of an unmarked grave and explains he believes it grew from that persons unconfessed sins. The two start talking about sins, confessing, and redemption until suddenly a child’s scream tears them from the conversation. Upon looking out the window, they see Pearl and Hester in the graveyard where Pearl is sticking burrs to Hesters letter. Pearl notices the men and says that they must leave because the ‘Black Man’ has already claimed the minister. Chillingworth makes a remark about the fact Hester does not attempt to hide her sin and both men are careful not to reveal anything about being involved with her. Chillingworth still continues to hassle Dimmesdale but he still does not give in. Many days later while Dimmesdale is sleeping, Chillingworth lifts his shirt and sees something on his chest, but it is not revealed what it is he sees.
Themes There is no way to keep a horrible secret forever. Dimmesdale wants for no one to know what he has done, but his guilt is physically killing him. Chillingworth is determined to and capable of finding out what Dimmesdale is hiding, and he will not give up until he has found what he wants to know. This theme is shown in the symbol of the weeds growing from the dead man’s heart. Even though he never told anyone, his sin came out after he died. Dimmesdale and Chillingworth’s discussion about Hester shows the flipside of this theme. She was open about her sin, and she is much better off mentally, spiritually, and even physically than Dimmesdale is.
Characters: Roger Chillingworth Roger Chillingworth is not who he says he is, his identity as Chillingworth is all a cover up. In chapters 9 and 10 he is called a ‘leech’, calling him this is a direct stab at his tendency cause more harm than good. The evil look his faces takes on in chapter 9 is a reflection of his true malicious intentions. He is liked and respected initially when he arrives back at the colony, but ends up having a sort of resentment toward him at the end of the chapters. He believes Dimmesdale’s illness is caused by something internal rather than actually being sick. He is obsessed with trying to find out everything he can about Dimmesdale.
Characters: Reverend Dimmesdale “Mr. Dimmesdale was a true priest, a true religionist, with the reverential sentiment largely developed, and an order of mind that impelled itself powerfully along the track of a creed, and wore its passage continually deeper with the lapse of time.” (p. 126-7) Well respected and well liked by the townspeople and his fellow ministers Despite this glowing reputation, he has a low opinion of himself. He is very ill. The main symptom is sharp pains in his heart. He is also pale, and his voice sounds “tremulous” when he talks. Chillingworth suspects the root of this illness is completely psychological. Outwardly, he is very reserved and mild-mannered. Chillingworth finds that deep down, Dimmesdale has a “strong animal nature.” (p.134) Chillingworth also says, “But see, now, how passion takes ahold of this man and hurrieth him out of himself.” (p.142) After the argument at the end of Chapter 10 that Dimmesdale reverts quickly back to his reserved, stoic, priestly self after making a genuine, angry outburst.
Romantic vs. Puritan Ideas The clash between ideals is brought out even more than usual in these chapters because of the juxtaposition of Dimmesdale and Chillingworth. Dimmesdale is definitely very Puritan, while Chillingworth is a more progressive thinker. Dimmesdale believes his sin has condemned him for eternity, while Chillingworth tries to convince him that confessing his sin will be good for him. This is a more romanticized religious view. The harshly Puritan townspeople believe first that Chillingworth was sent from God and later that he was sent by the Devil. Either way, this exemplifies the Puritan belief that everyday life was a struggle between supernatural good and evil forces.
Symbolism and Color The weeds found growing above the grave symbolize the evil and persistence of sins kept secret. The weeds are dark green, a color that invokes feelings of wickedness, sickness, evil, and corruption. Dimmesdale’s complexion is described as being very pale, almost white. This unnatural lack of color symbolizes sickness, lifelessness, and fear. The “European pharmacopoeia” mentioned in Chapter 9 is a symbol of things that are overcomplicated by society over time. This could refer to the Puritans’ complex, rigid theocracy. The simpler, more natural Native American remedies symbolize natural wisdom and ability, like Chillingworth has for deciphering people. This symbol is also a glorification of Nature, which is a Romantic idea. Hah… weeds…..
Irony The reader knows that Chillingworth is Hester’s former husband, but Dimmesdale does not (dramatic irony). The two men most affected by the issue with Hester Prynne end up living in the same house and becoming “friends.” This is situational irony. When Chillingworth looks at Dimmesdale’s chest, a kind of reverse dramatic irony occurs, because a character knows something important that the reader doesn’t.
Narrative Voice The narrative voice of chapters 9 and 10 is omniscient third person. The narrator has full knowledge of the situations and the characters’ behaviors, conversations, and feelings. In his descriptions, the narrator glorifies Hester Prynne, but emphasizes Dimmesdale’s miserable state. When describing Chillingworth, the narrator focuses on how knowledgeable and skilled he is, rather than his evil motives.
Foreshadowing These chapters reveal that Dimmesdale has done something terribly wrong, and it is foreshadowed that this terrible thing will be revealed later in the book. Hester and Pearl’s appearance outside while Dimmesdale is discussing this sin that he cannot reveal suggests that he may be the baby daddy. Chillingworth sees something significant on Dimmesdale’s chest. What it is will be revealed later in the book.
Quiz 1.Where did Chillingworth find the strange-looking weeds? 2.What does Pearl call Chillingworth? 3.Who is described as having a “strong animal nature”? 4.Puritans viewed everyday life as a struggle between what kinds of forces? 5.What is used to symbolize unnecessarily complicated social constructs?
Super Fun Activity Time! In these chapters, a “Leech” is just an old-timey name for a doctor. They were called leeches because their questionable remedies (such as leeches for “bad blood”) were just as likely to kill you as the original ailment! Fun stuff. So in this activity, we’re gonna have you (in 2 teams) try to spot the fake cures out of some lists of real medical “treatments”! Good luck..
One Is Fake! A.Sweep across back with a new broom for those pesky chills. A.To cure the flu, simply put sulphur in your shoes. A.Whiskey and pig’s blood take pain out of joints. A.Three Almonds a day keep the cancer away!
One Is Fake! A.Calf feces in a flour sack eliminates all traces of burns. A.Sleeping with scissors under the head cuts the headache out. A.Spider’s webs disinfect bleeding cuts before bandaging. A.Asthma goes away with axle grease on the scalp and back.
One Is Fake! A. Leather thong around the waist sucks out appendicitis. B.Stutters disappear with a simple chicken gizzard potion. C.All it takes to cure acne is a wet diaper applied to the face. D.Saturating hair with sulfur fixes any dandruff issues.