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I agree with you that Dimmesdale is not being authoritative at all and seems to want to back away from the affair.

I agree with you. I think that Nathanial Hawthorne used the names of the characters to maybe give them a deeper meaning. He may have done that to symbolize the personality of each character. Also Mr. Heidkamp had said that the author was writing this uring a time were a lot of directors were being accused of communism so maybe he tried to use these characters and their names to get a point across?

I find Chillingworth the most interesting of all of these. The combination of the two words, chilling and worth is surprising. Chilling, like you said, suggests that will become a little cold-the word itself kinda makes you shiver. It's also interesting because it contrasts with the "fire of hell" he is supposed to have come from. Worth, I guess, could show how important he is to the community, or it could show promise that his character is ultimately a good one.

I totally agree with you. The name bring a deeper meaning to the story. But the names also question how the character with come to terms with the meaning that is in the name. All of the symbolic names are the complete opposite of how each character is presented in the book. Hester is characterized as being surrounded in a halo and appearing extremely beautiful. Dimmesdale ans Chillingsworth are also complete opposites to the symbolic names as well.

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