"In his Indian captivity, moreover, he had gained much knowledge of the properties of native herbs and roots; nor did he conceal from his patients that these simple medicines"
elixir of life
Roger Chillingworth-the leech-
Hester's husband from New Amsterdam has arrived to Boston. After meeting with Hester in chapter 3, he has made sure his true identity is completely secret. He goes by the name Roger Chillingworth, and he seems to affiliate himself with the power figures in this puritan society, the Governor and Reverends.
please, allow me to care for our reverend Dimmesdale and perhaps cure him
yes! we must move you in with Dimmesdale at once
"'Good men ever interpret themselves too meanly.'"
"'I need no medicine'"
Chillingworth works quickly to win the society over with his medical knowledge. Society knows only what he puts out about himself including that he has gained knowledge from Natives,which gives him and advantage in knowledge. He proposes medicines and talks on his knowledge and experience with herbs. He wins the society into his favor with his proposal to possibly create The Elixir of Life.
Chillingworth becomes the town doctor and gains status and power very quickly. He becomes known by the people as "the leech" because of his smartness and his ability to create simple medicines and help sick patients out. At this point, he is very well-respected.
"At first his expression had been calm, meditative, scholar-like. Now there was something ugly and evil in his face, which they had not noticed"
In order to secure his status, Chillingworth claims Reverend Dimmesdale to be his spiritual guide and offers to analyze and perhaps conjure a cure for the ever sickening Reverend Dimmesdale. This appeals to the town council/ authority, despite Dimmesdale's objection towards medical treatment.Dimmesdale is often seen with a hand clutching his chest, his cheeks and skin becoming paler, constantly working and keeping fasts and vigils. Chillngworth starts to analyze Dimmesdale;however to get a better understanding of the reverend outside of words, it is suggested the two live together.The two move in together near a cemetery.
"He attached himself to him as a parishioner, and sought to win a friendly regard and confidence from his naturally reserved sensibility. He expressed great alarm at his pastor's state of health, but was anxious to attempt the cure"
Dimmesdale and Chillingworth show vast contrast while living together; Chillingworth has a laboratory of his own showing his intellectual based beliefs and Dimmesdale has a room full of statements about sin, especially adultery, showing his devoutness to religion. They discuss a range of things up to ethics, but Chillingworth still presses further analyzation and looks into Dimmesdale's memories and tries to get access to more private sentiments.
As time goes own, rumors start to arise about Chillingworth. A handyman alludes to have seen him years ago accompanying another doctor by a different name. Chillingworth's appearance also changes; he becomes darker and uglier. A lot of people begin to associate him with the Black Man or the devil. Multiple theories arised; however the truth was that Chillingworth had lost his sanity and goodness to his strong desire for revenge.