Rhetorical Devices Used In The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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In his novel, The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses rhetorical devices such as imagery, symbolism, and foreshadowing. Foreshadowing, is used to reveal Pearl’s father to the reader. Hawthorne reveals that Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale is Pearl’s father, through Dimmesdale’s relationships with the other characters as well as his words and deeds. Throughout the novel, it is clear to the reader that Pearl and Dimmesdale have a unique relationship. As Dimmesdale, on behalf of the other ministers, attempts to convince Hester to reveal who Pearl’s father is, he gives a moving speech that impacts all his listeners: “even the poor baby, at Hester’s bosom, was affected by the same influence; for it directed its hitherto vacant gaze towards Mr. Dimmesdale, …show more content…

This interaction between infant Pearl and Dimmesdale is significant because Pearl is described as a child who only shows affection towards her family (Hester). As Pearl ages, many Puritans conspire to separate her from her mother. Upon hearing this, Hester visits the governor’s hall to try and persuade him to allow Pearl to remain with her. Hester is ultimately allowed to keep Pearl, not because of her words, but because of the words spoken by Dimmesdale, who convinces Governor Bellingham and Reverend John Wilson. Afterwards, Pearl “stole softly towards him, and, taking his hand in the grasp of both her own, laid her cheek against it” (79). Her reaction caused the minister “[to look] round, [lay] his hands on the child’s head, [hesitate] an instant, and then [kiss] her brow” (79). Pearl’s interaction with Dimmesdale is the second time she shows affection towards anyone. The love she shows is highly unorthodox, in terms of her character, and causes her mother to question whether the individual expressing such love is truly her daughter. By laying his hands on Pearl’s head and kissing her brow, Dimmesdale reveals that he genuinely loves and cares for …show more content…

When Chillingworth visits Hester in prison, he claims that “his [the adulterer] fame, his position, his life, will be in my hands” (53). Chillingworth makes a vow to Hester that he will find the man who enticed her and will destroy the individual’s life and soul. As the novel progresses, Chillingworth establishes himself as the town doctor and Dimmesdale develops a mysterious illness that perplexes and worries the townspeople. His illnesses leads to Roger Chillingworth becoming his medical advisor, “as not only the disease interested the physician, but he was strongly moved to look into the character and qualities of the patient, these two men...came gradually to spend much time together” (84). Chillingworth takes advantage of the fact that Dimmesdale needs medical attention and establishes himself as a friend, with the intention of finding out personal information about Dimmesdale. Chillingworth is described as having been “calm in temperament, kindly...a pure and upright man” (88), throughout his life. However, while living in the Puritan town, he allows his quest for vengeance to consume him, and “he now [digs] into the poor clergyman’s heart, like a miner searching for gold; or rather, like a sexton [gravedigger] delving into a grave, possibly in quest of a jewel that had been buried on the dead man’s bosom” (88). Chillingworth is determined in his search for retribution, so much in fact

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