Scarlet Letter Rhetorical Analysis Essay

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The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in the nineteenth century, provides insight into the social stigma surrounding gender equality in his own community and era. Throughout the chapters, Hawthorne's uses Hester to provide a direct reflection to the lives of women in the nineteenth century. Hawthorne employs devices such as specified diction which pertains to each individual character, multiple shifts in the tone used in order to draw attention to shifts in judgment or beliefs of characters, and imagery in order to validate his overall personal belief that women deserve the autonomy and respect that men have possessed for centuries. Hawthorne uses the Scarlet Letter as a novel for social change by characterizing Hester as a woman …show more content…

Hawthorne the detailed description of Hester's public shaming to illustrate how the communality shamed Hester without much thought about her male accomplice. Hawthorne, through the use of detailed paragraphs, provided a description of the audience, who witnessed Hester's public shaming, and their "stern [looks] upon her death, without a murmur at its severity" (Hawthorne 86). Through further analysis, the reader can recognize the superiority complex evident in many of Hester's peers. This still remains present in society currently which is a direct result of individual insecurity, and in using this phrase Hawthorne introduces the theory that the gender inequality is a result of male insecurity. Hawthorne's the sentence, "iniquity is dragged out into the sunshine"(83), illustrates his overall critical tone apparent in the audience. By comparing the audience's perception of Hester to the outward openness and accepting nature of Hester; Hawthorne support his notion that women or in this case a sinner like Hester were held to a higher standard than that of men, which explained why the majority of the outrage and scrutiny from the audience was focused on Hester rather than her counterpart, …show more content…

By putting them in contrasts with each other, Hawthorne is successful in illustrating how morally and emotionally mature Hester was in comparison to Chillingworth through the use of connotation shifts. Hawthorne employs chapter fourteen to illustrate Chillingworth as the villain and Hester as the innocent party. In the beginning of chapter fourteen, a setting that included Hester and her daughter Pearl playing at the beach was illustrated. As Hester sees Chillingworth and sends Pearl off to play, there is a shift from a light, airy mood to an unpleasant mood indicated by the shift in diction. This eluded that Chillingworth was the root of discontention and his unpleasant demeanor overshadowed Hester's docile persona. Hawthorn proceeds to describe Chillingworth as an evil, devil-like figure and uses phrases like "the lurid fire of his heart blaze out before her eyes"(257). to convey his characterization. By using such strong imagery Hawthorne succeeds in showing the reader how emotionally and mentally superior Hester was to Chillingworth, which supports his overall claim. Hawthorne also supports the claim that Chillingworth is a devil-like figure by using the sentence, "In a word, old Roger Chillingworth was a striking evidence of man’s faculty of transforming himself into a

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