Analysis of John Edward's "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God"

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Through metaphors and similes used in Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, the speaker, Jonathan Edwards, convinces the reader of the power of their sins. The powerful figurative language used by Edwards helped to convey the terror of God’s wrath on those who do not fully devote themselves to their faith. One of the greatest images in this passage is the idea that one’s good deeds are like a spider’s web, delicate and fragile. In contrast, the sinful transgressions of a being equate to the falling rock on an unequivocal path towards the spider’s web. This depiction clearly indicates that the power of one’s good deeds have no effect on the power of one’s sins. The use of a spider’s web to symbolize one’s benevolence conveys that a person cannot possibly have a strong connection with God if they rely on only their good deeds to carry them to the Promised Land: they must also fully dedicate themselves to their piety to truly create an enduring bond with the Lord. In addition, Edwards also communicates a spectacular simile to the audience in this passage. To delineate the potential of God’s fury to the reader, Edwards compares a human being to a spider being held in palm of God’s hand over the fiery pit of Hell. From this statement it can be inferred that God only saves those who truly earned his forgiveness; and as for those who did not totally commit themselves to their spirituality, the Lord could easily drop them into the pit of Hell with indifference. Lastly, Edwards compares God’s wrath to a bow and arrow towards the end of the passage. When a person commits a sin, the bow is bent, forming tension which will eventually need to be released, causing the arrow to strike its target. In this analogy, the arrow represents God’s fury, while the target represents the sinner. It can also be inferred from this comparison that the sinner has few options for retribution and faces certain damnation. In each example of figurative language in this passage, Edwards...
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