He has disguised himself as a physician and asks Hester not to reveal his true identity. His plan is to find Pearl’s father and seek his revenge. He uses the name Roger Chillingworth. Chillingworth soon figures out that the father is the minister, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, and he torments Dimmesdale’s mind and soul for the next seven years. The Minister is too afraid to confess his sin publicly, but he cannot take the guilt any longer. Finally Hester sees what Chillingworth has done to Arthur, she reveals Chillingworth’s true identity to Arthur, and the two plan to run away together.
Although the two planned to run away together, Dimmesdale could not go through with it and finally confesses his sin to the town on the scaffold, shortly after he dies. Chillingworth dies not even a year later, and he gives all his fortune to Pearl. When Hester died she was buried next to Dimmesdale, where they shared the same tombstone.
For the most part, “The Scarlet Letter” is not historically accurate. However, it is a realistic portrayal of Puritan society. Puritans came to America to avoid the corruption and the Church of England.
They used a system of discipline based on the Bible’s law. Hester’s public punishment was actually practiced during this time period. Hawthorne also accurately depicts the political structure of the Puritan society. Puritan towns used a system of rule by a governor. Overall, Hawthorne successfully depicted the Puritan society. He correctly depicted their emphasis on Biblical law and how the punish all transgression. He may have misrepresented the legal system at the time, but his use of the Puritan society was mostly accurate.