14 October 2014
Rhetorical Devices: The Scarlet Letter
1. Anaphora: repetition of the same word or groups of words at the beginnings of successive clauses. “…with the hot, midday sun burning down upon her face, and lighting up its shame; with the scarlet token of infamy on her breast; with the sin-born infant in her arms; with a whole people, drawn forth as to a festival…” (Pgs. 54-55) This is an example of the device anaphora because Hawthorne begins four consecutive clauses with the same word, with. 2. Irony: use of a word in such a way as to convey a meaning opposite to the literal meaning of the word. “The very law that condemned her…had held her up, through the terrible ordeal of her ignominy.” (Pg. 66) This is an example of the device irony and it shows how the law that is meant to humiliate Hester, as a matter of fact, holds her up so she can stand the humiliation the people attempt to throw at her. 3. Alliteration: repetition of initial or medial consonants in two or more adjacent words. “She saw the children of the settlement, on the grassy margin of the street, or at the domestic thresholds, disporting themselves in such grim fashion as the Puritanic nurture would permit; playing at going to church, perchance; or at scourging Quakers; or taking scalps in a sham-fight with the Indians; or scaring one another with freaks of imitative witchcraft.” (Pgs, 77-78) This is an example of alliteration because Hawthorne uses a repetitive ‘s’ sound throughout the sentence. 4. Metaphor: implied comparison between two things of unlike nature. “…was admirably adapted to Pearl’s beauty, and made her the very brightest little jet of flame that ever danced upon the earth.” (Pg. 84) This is a metaphor because Pearl is being resembled to a bright jet of flame without the use of ‘like’ or ‘as’ which gives bad and good characteristics to her. 5. Anadiplosis: repetition of the last word of one clause at the beginning of the...
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