D. H. Lawrence's Scarlet Letter

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In the essay, “On the Scarlet Letter,” D.H. Lawrence uses several literary devices to convey his opinion of the main character of the novel, Hester Prynne. The author manipulates each device to support his argument and persuade the reader to view Prynne in a negative way. D.H. Lawrence’s use of literary devices in a strange but alluring way successfully proves his argument. In Lawrence’s essay he uses alliteration, an indignant and mocking tone and sarcasm to express his opinion that Hester Prynne should be denounced instead of adored for her sin. D. H. Lawrence uses biblical allusion to emphasize the symbolism and true meaning behind Hester Prynne’s scarlet letter, which stands for “adulteress.” He repeats religious words all beginning…show more content…
Lawrence’s bitter and mocking tone questions the popularity and admiration Hester Prynne receives. Lawrence believes that Hester does not deserve the esteem she acquires because of her adultery. Instead, he thinks her character should be lambasted for the unrighteous crime she commits. His resentful tone expresses this belief by insulting women as a way of mocking Hester. For instance, Lawrence comments “the greatest triumph a woman can have, especially an American woman, is the triumph of seducing a man, especially if he is pure,” (Lawrence). Clearly, Lawrence has a negative tone towards women because he is denouncing women and labeling them as being corrupt and provocative. Lawrence ridicules Hester Prynne through this quote because he is saying that her glory was gained through adultery. He mocks the book because it invokes the idea that women will only be successful through corruption. Next, Lawrence says “Hester Prynne is the great nemesis of women,” (Lawrence). In this statement, Lawrence reveals that his target of mockery was solely Prynne in the previous quote; he does not think all women are on a promiscuous agenda. However, he holds the opinion that Hester Prynne gives a false ideology and leads women to believe that their objective in life is to please men. His diction such as the word “nemesis” further contribute to Lawrence’s negative opinion of Hester
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