The color-coded boxes under "Analysis & Themes" below (which look like this: ) make it easy to track the themes throughout the work. Each color corresponds to one of the themes explained in the Themes section of this LitChart.
Analysis & Themes
Hester decides to ask Chillingworth to stop tormenting Dimmesdale. When she and Pearl encounter him on a beach near the sea, he tells her the council has recently discussed allowing her to remove the scarlet letter from her chest. She says the letter should stay until she's worthy of its removal.
Hester notices that Chillingworth has changed. He's now a wretched, vengeful old man. Chillingworth also notes the change, remembering when he was a kind scholar. He says that he's lost his "human heart."
Hester tells Chillingworth he holds Dimmesdale's life in his hands. Chillingworth says he saved Dimmesdale's life by not revealing his link to Hester from the start. Hester says he would be better off dead than forced to endure Chillingworth's torture.
Chillingworth admits that he's become a "fiend." He blames Hester for his downfall. Hester agrees, pleading with Chillingworth therefore not to blame and abuse Dimmesdale any further.
Hester says she must tell Dimmesdale about Chillingworth. He responds that their fate, a "black flower," is no longer in anyone's hands. He apologizes to Hester for not having offered her the love that would have prevented their collective ruin.