Chapter 14 – Hester and the Physician
Hester meets with Chillingworth and is again surprised to note the change in
him, seeing that he is in the grip of the devil; and she feels some guilt for contributing towards his ruin.
She tells him that the oath she made is allowing him to do evil to the Minister. She remembers when he used to be kind and gentle, but now he has allowed evil to use him. Chillingworth releases Hester from her oath of silence.
Hester is slowly realizing that the sin she committed together with her
punishment, have also contributed to the ruin of both Dimmesdale and Chillingworth. She feels that her sin has been paid for many times over and longs to be released from its burden. She cannot
passively stand by and do nothing. She needs to assist her former lover.
Chillingworth releases Hester from the oath, feeling that his work is nearly concluded, and it suits his
plan for vengeance.