Rhetorical Devices Used In Scarlet Letter

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In the Bible, the Apostle John proclaims “Sin is a master to whom we become enslaved” (John 8:34). The disciple John clarifies sin can consume one’s spirit completely: tearing a person apart from the guilt of their sins. In the Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne implies a similar concept on how sin is capable of altering one’s character, along with the shame from their guilt. Throughout the Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne utilizes key elements such as diction and rhetorical devices, to convey a message towards the audience of how sin can change a man’s life forever, sinking them into never ending abyss of guilt. Sin is depicted in various forms throughout the story as shown with the characters. For instance, Hester is now viewed as an image of …show more content…
Syntax is used by Hawthorne to show Hester’s guilt from her sins: "How strange it seemed to the sad woman, as she watched the growth, and the beauty that became every day more brilliant, and the intelligence that threw its quivering sunshine over the tiny features of this child! Her Pearl!" Hester’s sin has given her a burden with her new image and also her guilt has been carried on to Pearl as she is pointed out to be a product of shame and sin to others. Sin is massive hardship every individual goes through, sometimes to the point where it can not only consume you but also carry on the burden to others as well. The syntax displayed, shows how the guilt of sin can be very severe on each character. Diction in the “Scarlet Letter” goes on to present the reader the bitter conflicts between characters due to their sins. The author’s diction sets up dark tone in the story as seen in the quote, "What choice had you?" asked Roger Chillingworth. "My finger, pointed at this man, would have hurled him from his pulpit into a dungeon, —thence, peradventure, to the gallows!" (14.14) The conflict arises when Chillingworth finds out that Dimmesdale is the one who committed adultery with Hester, therefore his sins would now take him over as all he desires is revenge against Dimmesdale. Hawthorne explains to the audience the effects of sin on an individual which can vary like in the Scarlet Letter. Each character copes with their sin and guilt differently. Like Dimmesdale, Chillingworth would be another victim to be completely consumed by sin as bitterness has consumed his soul. The diction used by the author emphasizes the theme of sin and guilt to the reader and how it can overtake one’s spirit and nature

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