Figurative Language In Hester Prynne

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Hester Prynne, by many Puritans, was perceived as an adulterer after her heinous affair with an unknown man, who was later unveiled as an ordained Puritan minister, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. After her term of confinement for committing adultery, she was called on the scaffold, which she had her standing on for three hours under the judgmental stares, with her infant daughter, Pearl. And although she was given the chance to reveal the man she had an affair with by the Governor, she directly refused. Instead, she chose to keep mum and decided on staying on the outskirts of Boston, Massachusetts, with an adorned letter of A pinned to her dress to separate her from the other Puritans. In the Scarlet Letter, the narrator, Nathaniel Hawthorne,…show more content…
They must stop fearing of the speculations and judgments made by others, and take action against being swayed by the principles of traditional roles. “Thus Hester Prynne, whose heart had lost its regular and healthy throb, wandered without a clue in the dark labyrinth of the mind; now turned aside by an insurmountable precipice; now starting back from a deep chasm” (Hawthorne, 182). Hawthorne uses figurative language, such as metaphor, to compare Hester’s mind to a labyrinth and a mountainous peak, which she can’t seem to overcome. Since Hester has no one but Pearl, who is only a child, she is unable to discuss and share her woeful feelings and distress with others. She has a few ideas on how to overcome male chauvinism- a belief where men are believed to be inherently superior to women- within the society, however, her solitude deters her from taking any immediate actions and makes her feel lost. In addition to that, her inner turmoil further leads her to doubt her own reliability of keeping Pearl and she begins to consider committing suicide; she fears that if the child would rather be better off without her. “The scarlet letter had not done its office” (Hawthorne, 182). Towards the end, Hawthorne develops a tone of irony as he describes the affect the scarlet letter had on her. Instead of severely punishing and humiliating her, the scarlet letter did the opposite of its intended…show more content…
Her isolation and the scarlet letter fastened to her bosom permitted her to look at the shortcomings of the society- as an outsider- that is typically overlooked by the civilians themselves. She discovers how women aren’t given power inside the community to think for themselves or make changes, and hence winds up stuck in the same mindset or beliefs. Due to the ideas shared by men, women begin to see themselves as inferior and are easily influenced in remaining silent. Unlike the other women in the Puritan community, Hester is depicted as a strong, unyielding lady- the “wild rosebush”-, who, despite being publicly shamed and mocked, helped the needy and disregarded others opinion of her. She isn’t stifled by the townspeople 's perspective of her, but rather is concerned about the way women are viewed upon, and feels that existence itself- is worthless for them. Nathaniel Hawthorne, through the use of rhetorical devices, interprets how Hester considers having the society rebuilt so women are given a better place and equality just as the men are given. She concludes that for the authority of men are so deep-rooted to the Puritan ideals, it will be difficult to make any transitions but is still determined for women to get a better function within the

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