Sanctimonious hypocrisy, causing one to commit an even greater wrong than the one they seek vengeance for, consumes them with the desire for revenge. Caused by the desire to seek vengeance and punish someone who has caused internal or external pain to one or someone they are close to, revenge is able to consume and convert someone into a hypocritical creature. For example, in The Scarlet Letter, Chillingworth’s wife, Hester, commits possibly the worst sin to the Puritan society: adultery. Chillingworth is consumed by the desire to seek vengeance on Dimmesdale, the man responsible for the destruction of his relationship.
Chillingworth hurt, wronged and mad after he finds out about the sin of adultery his wife had committed with Dimmesdale, imagines (add context) “a more intimate revenge than any mortal ad ever wrecked upon an enemy” (Hawthorne 216). As Chillingworth seek such an “intimate revenge” it is evident how he is truly affected by this act of betrayal. It represents the hypocrisy that is caused by this act as his automatic response to these vile acts is to seek vengeance.
Therefore, revenge led him to become nothing but hypocritical, irrational and ultimately corrupt in the soul. Serving as Dimmesdale’s doctor, Chillingworth causes mass internal torture and destroys Dimmesdale both emotionally and mentally. With the sole purpose to seek harm, Chillingworth pretends to be a helping figure for Dimmesdale and falsely serves as a healer and friend. Comprehending the internal guilt and self-torture that this man has inside, Chillingworth violently attacks him, ultimately turning him into the same man who has caused his desire for revenge: a deceitful, insincere and flawed creature.
With the power of revenge, a virtuous, ethical and principled man is converted into a hypocritical, vengeful and harm-seeking brute. On the other hand, some may claim that revenge is not the worst sin of all because it provides an accomplished, gratifying and positive feeling for the person seeking vengeance. Seeking revenge on one who has caused internal or external pain, allows for a release of the pain and puts justice to the foul acts that this person has committed. In a study, researchers found a clear and notable link between pleasure and emotional pain. For example, in a situation where someone is rejected, although it can be painful at first, as one is given the opportunity for revenge it rapidly converts into the sensation of pleasure.
The rewarding feature of aggression and revenge allows for the pleasure and satisfaction of one internally. For example, when someone is provoked, they will act in a more accurate and precise manner as their brain sees the rewarding results it will bring. However, although some may believe this to be true, in reality revenge does not solve any problems and only creates a repeating cycle, as each action will only entice the other to seek vengeance once again. In addition to this, although there are studies showing a clear link between pleasure and emotional pain, there are no studies that explore the sensations of revenge in a long-term spectrum, like days or weeks after they have done the harm.
However, there have been studies, although unpublished, that demonstrate that the feeling of pleasure is only temporary. Unfortunately, when contemplating to seek revenge individuals only consider the positive outcomes that it will bring, however they become blind to the effect it will have on themselves internally. Even so, although seeking revenge on the person that hurt one may provide them with pleasure in the moment, there should be in no way a dependence on that feeling in the long-term.
The constant desire for revenge corrupts one’s soul and causes them to convert into an unimaginable creature. For example, in The Scarlet Letter, Chillingworth only becomes more demonic and devilish as he becomes more focused on seeking vengeance on Dimmesdale. Chillingworth, only thinking about the pain that Dimmesdale caused him, wished to“[torture] [him] with frightful dreams and desperate thoughts, the sting of remorse, and the despair of pardon”.
Chillingworth finds Dimmesdale’s pain and inner suffering delightful and continues seeking more as if he were never satisfied with the results. Throughout The Scarlet Letter, this unusual and wrong pleasure that is within Chillingworth is compared to Satan and his actions. In the past, Chillingworth’s life had been decent and morally accepted as a studious and smart man, it could in no way be compared to that of the devil and was definitely not consumed by the desire to cause pain and seek vengeance. However, this devouring desire for revenge consumes him and every inch of him internally. He becomes the complete opposite, in fact much like a valid representation of the devil, he seeks to cause pain and suffering and is contaminated with the desire for revenge. On the other hand, some may claim
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