Erase the past

The Scarlet Letter
"Unknown to all but Hester Prynne, and possessing the lock and key of her silence, he chose to withdraw his name from the roll of mankind, and, as regarded his former ties and interests, to vanish our of life as completely as if he indeed lay at the bottom of the ocean, whither rumor had long ago consigned him" (Hawthorne 108).

Roger Chillingworth was renamed to hide his past.  He wants his past name and life to be spoken of.  The only person to know about his change is Hester, who was sworn to secrecy.  This made me think.  How he could have so much trust in someone to completely keep his prior identity a secret?  Also how could someone just give up their past and become someone new?  How could they leave all the people in their lives and just vanish?  Even if they have had a terrible past, it would be so hard to just run away from it all.  Wonder if he ever thinks about his past or if he just erased it from his memory?

For me, this could be information for something to happen further into the book.  Hester could reveal the past and he would be faced with something he thought he gave up forever.  Just a thought.


I was thinking the same thing when I was reading this. I was confused at first as to who Chillingworth was and how he related to Hester.

Another question I had is how did Hester not recognize him? I mean even if he did change his identity I feel like she should still recognize something about him.

It's a thought I share with you Jamie. Maybe it's too many movies but it just seems to easy for her not to reveal his secret. Almost like it is meant to happen.

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This page contains a single entry by JamieGrace published on September 7, 2009 12:26 PM.

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