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Perhaps this act can, to some degree, redeem the person whose sin was the blackest.
Hawthorne writes, "He had begun an investigation, as he imagined, with the severe and equal integrity of a judge, desirous only of truth, even as if the question involved no more than the air-drawn lines and figures of a geometrical problem, instead of human passions, and wrongs inflicted on itself." Here the cold intellect of the publicly emerging nineteenth century scientist is used as a framework for Chillingworth's pursuit.
This is what makes Chillingworth diabolical and, in Hawthorne's eyes, the greatest sinner.
Once Chillingworth decides to pursue Hester's lover and enact revenge, he pursues this purpose with the techniques and motives of a scientist. His hypothesis is that corruption of the body leads to corruption of the soul.
"Wherever there is a heart and an intellect, the diseases of the physical frame are tinged with the peculiarities of these [the intellectual thoughts]." In Chapter 9, "The Leech," Chillingworth's motives and techniques are explored.
In Chapter 14, she agrees with his description of what he used to be and counters with what he has become.
He was once a thoughtful man, wanting little for himself. Your clutch is on his life, and you cause him to die daily a living death." In Dimmesdale, Chillingworth has a helpless victim, and he exercises his power over the minister with great enthusiasm.
As a paragon of this group, Chillingworth lives in a world of scholarly pursuits and learning.
Even when he was married to Hester, a beautiful, young woman, he shut himself off from her and single-mindedly pursued his scholarly studies.
Roger Chillingworth, unlike Hester and Dimmesdale, is a flat character.
While he develops from a kind scholar into an obsessed fiend, he is less of a character and more of a symbol doing the devil's bidding.