The Scarlet Letter - Chapter 10 Summary & Analysis

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Although beginning with good intentions, Roger Chillingworth's investigation of his patient soon turns sinister. Instead of probing objectively, he has begun to look for the hidden sin or corruption in his patient's heart. Poor Dimmesdale faintly recognizes that something is amiss, but owing to his general lack of trust in all men- does not pinpoint Chillingworth as the source of his discomfort.

A conversation between Chillingworth and Dimmesdale allows Chillingworth to hear Dimmesdale's benign account of confession and thus the physician hopes to receive his. But Dimmesdale gives himself a way out. Some men cannot constitutionally confess and some men, as having hidden sins, cannot because it would hurt the good they actively do among their fellow men. In the midst of their conversation, they both see Hester and Pearl skipping happily through a graveyard. They wonder about the child and her capacity for good. They talk about Hester, Chillingworth...

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This section contains 364 words
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Buy The Scarlet Letter Study Guide
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The Scarlet Letter from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.