Rhetorical Devices Used In Scarlet Letter

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This passage from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter serves as a turning point of the story because Chillingworth’s inquiry concerning Dimmesdale has finally been answered. Hawthorne utilizes irony and imagery to build tension to reach the climactic situation. In this episode, Chillingworth finally discovers a truth about Dimmesdale. Dimmesdale has the “A” of adulterer carved on his chest. Chillingworth experienced a “ghastly rapture” and, “at that moment of his ecstasy, he would have had no need to ask how satan comports himself when a precious human souls is lost to heaven,”. Subtle irony is used here to show how Chillingworth’s personality is being twisted due to his intense longing for the truth. Usually, when one learns the truth, one is flooded with emotions of relief and …show more content…

The onomatopoeic words that Hawthorne utilized in this passage are: “slumber”, “somniferous”, “rapture”, and “bursting”, to emphasize the calm, yet clamorous scene it is bound to be. Hawthorne explains, “Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale, noon-day… fell into a deep, deep slumber, sitting in his chair, with a large black-letter volume open before him on the table.”, to set the mood and explain to the reader the setting of the scene. Hawthorne continues, “... Roger Chillingworth without an extraordinary precaution came into the room.” Hawthorne uses the words “extraordinary precaution” to show the reader that at this moment, Chillingworth has not one ounce of shame. Once Chillingworth uncovers Dimmesdale’s chest, Chillingworth begins his ecstatic episode, “... bursting forth through the whole ugliness of his figure, and making itself even riotously maifest by the extravagant gestures with which he threw up his arms towards the ceiling, and stamped his foot upon the floor!” Imagery is utilized by Hawthorne to show how unusual Chillingworths reaction is to someone's unfortunate

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