Chapter Nine & Ten: The Leech and His Patient
Dimmesdale and Chillingworth vs. Frodo and Gollum
The relationship between Dimmesdale and Chillingworth in The Scarlet Letter shares similarities to the relationship between Frodo and Gollum from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Both Chillingwoth and Gollum have ulterior motives for trying to form a bond with Dimmesdale and Frodo. In order to get his hands on his "precious" ring that Frodo protects, Gollum fakes a friendship with Frodo, and pretends to help Sam and Frodo make their way to Mount Doom to destroy the ring. By gaining Frodo's trust and turning him against his best friend Sam, he is able to deceive Frodo and lead him into a deadly trap. Chillingworth's reasoning for trying to connect to Dimmesdale is similar to Gollum's. Chillingworth suspects that Reverend Dimmesdale is who Hester Prynne is secretly protecting from the harsh judgments of the Puritan society, and he wants to make Dimmesdale suffer for the crime he committed. He uses his false identity to gain access to Reverend Dimmesdale and while pretending to be friends he tries to pry into Dimmesdale's life and uncover his secrets. Gollum and Chillingworth are both trying to earn Frodo and Dimmesdale's trust in order to ultimately harm them in some way.