The Scarlet Letter - Study Guide Chapter 11 Summary & Analysis

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Chillingworth has discovered something about Dimmesdale that has motivated him even more to exact revenge, although he is not sure of the causes of his discovery. Although the reader is still left in the dark about many things, it is clear that the physician's revenge involves some kind of power over his unfortunate subject, perhaps through a form of sorcery or remote hypnotic means. Apparently, Chillingworth has the power to startle the poor minister with a "throb of agony" or "at the waving of a magician's want" to induce a thousand horrid phantoms to point their fingers at Arthur Dimmesdale's breast.

As Dimmesdale's guilt-based suffering is now amplified by the physician/sorcerer's revenge, the minister rises upwards in his prestige and acceptance by the Boston community. This veneration by the naïve populace tortures Dimmesdale even more. In fact, he is so filled...

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This section contains 296 words
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The Scarlet Letter from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.