Preview

Rhetorical Analysis Essay: the Scarlet Letter

Good Essays
Open Document
Open Document
504 Words
Grammar
Grammar
Plagiarism
Plagiarism
Writing
Writing
Score
Score
Rhetorical Analysis Essay: the Scarlet Letter
Rhetorical Analysis Essay: The Scarlet Letter
In the Bible it says, in Matthew 5: 27-28, "You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart”. In the Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the main character Hester Prynne was an adulteress in the seventeenth century during the Puritan era. Three rhetorical strategies that really stood out were symbolism, archaic diction, and irony. The use of these rhetorical strategies enables Hawthorne to tell the story of the woman who was condemned for adultery and to expose the hypocrisy in a Puritan society.
The first rhetorical strategy is symbolism. In the book, The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne was being punished for her sins as an adulterer and was forced to wear a red “A” on her clothes at all times. Also, in the end when Reverend Dimmesdale was filled so much with guilt, reveals his own scarlet letter engraved on his chest, for he had sinned too. Another example of symbolism is Hester’s daughter Pearl. Hester went to the governor’s mansion, after she heard talk about Pearl being taken away and put in foster care because she was unfit of a mother to take care of her. Dimmesdale assures Governor Bellingham that Pearl should not be taken away because Pearl is Hester’s reminder of the sin she has committed.
The next rhetorical strategy is archaic diction. Since this book was published in 1850, and that was maybe a little over one hundred and sixty-three years ago – depending on when Hawthorne had initially started writing the book – the diction is of one we no longer speak. “She hath good skill at her needle… ‘but did ever a woman, before this brazen hussy, contrive such a way at showing it,” is an example of archaic diction. Basically saying that Hester is good at sewing but she had (the woman speaking) never seen someone do it to seek sexual attention. Other examples of archaic diction is, “hast thou”

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    The Puritan Era was the most religious time in American history; committing any sin was seen as an act of rebellion. In that time the sin of adultery was taken very literally to an extent where the women were forced to wear the letter “A” across their bosom to show the people of the town what they had committed. In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne’s sin results in such a punishment, but as the reader gets deeper into the book, a prominent and more profound understanding of Hester can be reached. It is through her struggles that Hawthorne gets across his primary themes. Hawthorne illustrates his theme through Hester's struggles that becoming an outcast can help one achieve a profound grasp of who they truly…

    • 697 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Irony in Scarlet Letter

    • 705 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Nathaniel Hawthrone’s Scarlet Letter is praised as one of the most revolutionary and compelling literary works in modern American history. The narrator’s omniscient, descriptive lingustics enfore the story’s captivating plot as well as invokes insights on the moral fiber of each character. For some, the novel is an inspiration to readers in regard to the powerful protagonist, Hester Prynne, with her feminism and strength in the face of adversity; or by her daughter’s pure spirit, or even the devotion of the minister Dimmesdale to his congregation. As popular and coveted is the complex plot, Hawthorne’s literary talents excel within each paragraph. The story is historical in its characters and what they represent, but is exciting because of its constantly misleading irony. The author uses irony systematically throughout the book to keep the reader guessing, whether verbal irony in Chillingworth’s words, situational irony - Hester and Dimmesdale’s burst of joy before a tradgic ending - or the dramatic irony of Dimmesdale’s secret relationship with Hester. The deceptive techniques used by Hawthorne are what makes this elderly tale so relevant today.…

    • 705 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The First Chapter of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter” is set in the mid 1600s in Puritan Boston. In this chapter he describes these times in a metaphorical manner. He refers to a cemetery and a prison and describes their origins and how they were two of the first things the founders built. He also describes a rosebush in the prison and makes a reference to Anne Hutchinson referring to her as “sainted.” Hawthorne appeals to his audience of peers through their emotions and metaphorical language to evoke change in the reader’s thoughts and actions.…

    • 595 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    When The Scarlet Letter was written the Author, Nathaniel Hawthorne, discovered many ideas and facts about the Puritan community. Knowing this Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote about how women in the 17th century lived and how strict the society's rules can be, one major rule that was followed strictly phonate was “Actions spoke louder than words, so actions had to be constantly controlled.” (nd.edu). When the book begins it starts with introducing Hester and how she has done this huge violation according to the bible, maybe even causing the death penalty upon herself. As The Scarlet Letter goes through the timeline of how she is isolated and is shunned from the society; eventually, Hester slowly becomes part of the society by being the pure character she really was. This lets her take off the scarlet “A” and change the meaning of Adultery to the meaning of Able. Hawthorne decribes the climax of Hester’s story by expressing, “The letter was the symbol of her calling. such helpfulness…

    • 674 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    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.…

    • 412 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Better Essays

    In On the Scarlet Letter, D.H. Lawrence comments on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s controversial character, Hester Prynne. What makes Lawrence unique from other critics is that he criticizes Hester and Dimmesdale's’ sinful act, and he asserts negative opinions about the way Hester Prynne is conventionally perceived because of it. D.H. Lawrence presents a well written analysis that effectively castigates Hester Prynne’s characterization in the novel through biblical and literary allusions, harsh syntax, and a satirical tone.…

    • 905 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Rhetorical Analysis Essay

    • 1076 Words
    • 5 Pages

    I’ll admit it; I absolutely loved playing with Barbie’s as a child! I must have had like twenty of them. She had everything: a dream house, Ken, plenty of friends, and a slender body with all the right curves, everything I dreamed of having when I grew up. “En Garde, Princess!” by Mary Grace Lord, challenges why every girl loves Barbie. Her article appeared in the online magazine Salon under the “Mothers Who Think” department on October 27, 2000, before the launch of a new doll line called the Get Real Girls, which were created by Julz Chavez. In this article Lord uses repetition, ethos, comparison and name calling to convince the reader that Barbie will soon encounter a fierce competitor, a better role model, which may finally dethrone her as the best selling doll of all time, or at least “punch a few holes in her sales” (423).…

    • 1076 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Rhetorical Analysis Essay

    • 848 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Every individual has traditions passed down from their ancestors. This is important because it influences how families share their historical background to preserve certain values to teach succeeding generation. N. Scott Momaday has Native American roots inspiring him to write about his indigenous history and Maxine Hong Kingston, a first-generation Chinese American who was inspired by the struggles of her emigrant family. Kingston and Momaday manipulate language by using, metaphors, similes, and a unique style of writing to reflect on oral traditions. The purpose of Kingston’s passage is to reflect upon her ancestor’s mistake to establish her values as an American immigrant where as Momaday’s purpose is to remember his ancestry through his grandmother to remind future generations of their family’s traditions.…

    • 848 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Rhetorical Analysis Essay

    • 884 Words
    • 3 Pages

    “The Carnivore’s Dilemma”, an essay by Nicolette Hanh Niman, incorporates rhetorical elements, such as logos, ethos, and rhetorical questions, in an attempt to convince the audience that meat itself is not the root of global warming. Written from a rancher’s point of view, the essay relies on studies and logic to prove itself. Niman starts out with a short acknowledgement that the meat industry has a hand in the increasingly noticeable global climate change. She then quickly changes gears, stating that the studies that show the meat industry is a major player in global warming only take the prevailing methods of producing meat into account and spews facts that show the flip side of the food industry.…

    • 884 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Rhetorical Analysis Essay

    • 1465 Words
    • 6 Pages

    “Shitty First Drafts” by Anne Lamott, is a hilarious must read for junior high school students and any other aspiring writers. Her essay inspires comfort and confidence in writing a first draft. It concretes that all writers experience the “shitty” first draft. Anne Lamott wrote this instructional information in 1995, but it is timeless information. She blows the idea of writing an immaculate first draft out of the water. Anne supports the idea that bad first drafts will almost always lead to better second, third and final drafts. She symbolizes the first draft to be like a child. Where you put all your thoughts and emotions out there in words on paper, you go all over the place, you say all kinds of ridiculous things, and all with the intention of coming back as a more rational adult, (the only one to read this draft), to fix your child-like writing into a more complete and coherent written masterpiece. Beginning writers, (and any other writers), will get a better understanding on starting the writing process with a bad first draft and that it can lead to an amazing final written draft.…

    • 1465 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, it was not conceivable when people commit adultery. In this novel set in a seventeenth century Puritan town, Hester Prynne, is a young woman who executes adultery with the town’s minister, Arthur Dimmesdale. In effect of doing this, Prynne suffers more than any other character in the novel. Prynne is seized for committing a sin which was intolerable during the Puritan times. She must undergo extreme punishment, including serving months in prison, and having to stand upon the scaffold and withstand immense public scrutiny from the townspeople. In the crowd, Prynne notices somebody, her husband, who changed his name to Roger Chillingworth, who signals to her to keep quiet. Prynne keeps Dimmesdale’s and Chillingworth’s name a secret, thus forcing her to bear the letter “A” on her chest for all to see.…

    • 653 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    The Puritan society was known for it’s strict morals and religious piety. But despite these supposedly virtuous qualities, in the Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, we are shown how twisted this model of society is. The people torment Hester, but refuse to see that their beloved minister carries the same sin in his heart; in fact, they revere him all the more for it. In his chapters, “Hester at Her Needle,” and “The Interior of a Heart,” Hawthorne creates an ironic contrast between Hester’s public torment and Dimmesdale’s inner agony. While there are many parallels between the two chapters, the contrasts in the character’s ways of dealing with their crime reveal how sinfulness leads to a development of oneself, as well as development of a sense of empathy for others. Paradoxically, these traits are shown to be incompatible with living the true Puritan lifestyle. This is why what goes on outside Hester and Dimmesdale is so vital to their inner narrative, Hester’s public torment eventually sets her free, while Dimmesdale’s public reverence slowly kills him.…

    • 1133 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Nathaniel hawthorne’s book the Scarlet letter depicts the life of hester prynne and the town of boston through the experiences of religion standpoints, The Hypocrisy of the town’s people, Also the social judgement that her and her daughter endure. Adultery is a sin in the eyes of god it is also looked down upon people. It says in the bible in Leviticus 20:10 If a man commits adultery that both the adulterer and the adulteress both be put to death. But it is also said Matthew 5: 27-28 That you have heard what is it is said that one is not supposed to commit adultery but if you look at a woman with lustful intent then he has already committed adultery with her in his heart. In the Scarlet Letter Hester is led to believe that her husband was dead so she…

    • 2061 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, is a fantastic piece of symbolism, which delves into the society of seventeenth century Puritans, in colonial Boston. Centered on Hester Prynne, a young woman sent to the colonies by her husband, Roger Chillingworth, she is first introduced standing upon the scaffold, bearing to society her guilt of adultery through the scarlet A on her chest and her daughter, Pearl, in her arms. Here Hester refuses to confess Arthur Dimmesdale’s identity as her lover and Pearl’s father. Dimmesdale, a newly ordained minister, recognizes his transgressions, yet is still unable to admit his relation to Hester and Pearl, a secret which serves to cause restless turmoil until he confesses in the third scaffold scene. Because of his public confession in the third scaffold scene, Dimmesdale, Hester, and Pearl are each freed from two burdens that the adultery caused and that each character carries into the scene.…

    • 1242 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Written by Nathaniel Hawthorne and published in 1850, “The Scarlet Letter” is about an adulteress, Hester, who must wear the scarlet letter, an ‘A’ as a means of punishment. Throughout the course of “The Scarlet Letter”, Hawthorne reveals many symbols and central ideas which all relate to the theme of sin and hypocrisy. The fate of the main characters in the novel conveys that, not only does hypocrisy come as a result of one’s sin, thus further influencing sin, but it leads to the destruction of communities and one's soul as well.…

    • 2355 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Better Essays