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Rhetorical Analysis on the Scarlet Letter Essay

Hawthorne successfully portrays the use of extended metaphors, foreshadowing and language throughout the Scarlet Letter to easily grab hold or grasp the reader’s attentive minds.
First of all the utilization of the extended metaphors-the lengthening of the average metaphor was developed in this passage to thoroughly describe Pearls reaction to Reverend Dimmesdale’s approach. “The child, with bird-like motion which was one of her characteristics, flew to him, and clasped her arms about his knees,” is an extraordinary example of the portrayal of an extended metaphor. By saying that one of Pearls characteristics was having bird-like motion tells the reader she is moving swiftly or gracefully. Then for Hawthorne to say she “flew to him,” humans can’t fly, therefore extends the metaphor. The effect of this rhetorical device was to amplify the effect of both Pearls and Reverend Dimmesdale’s connection and create an emotional stirring for Hester’s husband, disguised as Old Roger Chillingworth.

Hawthorne also developed a successful way to portray sensory details throughout the excerpt to predict, or foreshadow, the coming horror of Dimmesdale’s confession. “…for my own heavy sin and miserable agony-I withheld myself from doing so seven years ago…” helps the reader to connect the dots, they are able to tell what comes next. Dimmesdale is finally coming clean about the sin he committed, created, seven years ago and agrees that he deserves the correct and rightful punishment for his wrongful doing. Hawthorne used this to put the reader in shock and ask questions. The reader can easily predict that the townspeople are going to be furious because the so called “Man of God” has committed a sinful crime.

Finally the way Hawthorne told the story creates a very dark and gloomy setting. Using words such as “heavy sin”, “miserable agony”, and “sin-born” produce a very negative environment and feeling and gives the reader a sense
of curiosity and a fearful type of wonderment throughout the passage. Hawthorne uses language to grasp the reader’s attention to make an emotional connection on a more personable level to the reader mind and imagination.

Hawthorne effectively demonstrates the purpose of the Scarlet Letter by proficiently portraying the use of extended metaphors, foreshadowing Dimmesdale’s unlawful resignation from the church, and he also uses language to help alter the reader’s mind about the environment or the situation being discussed in the passage.

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