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Copy of Rhetorical Analysis of The Scarlet Letter

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Iva Watkins

on 10 November 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Rhetorical Analysis of The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter
By Nathanial Hawthorne
Hester Prynn
Arthur Dimmsdale
Roger Chillingsworth
Rhetorical Devices
In The Scarlet Letter:
The Author:
The Effect:
In The Scarlet Letter:
The Author:
The Effect:
In The Scarlet Letter:
What It Means:
In The Scarlet Letter:
In The Scarlet Letter:
Rhetorical Devices:
Sentence Structure
Periodic Sentence:
Cumulative Sentence:
Balanced Sentence:
In The Scarlet Letter:
In The Scarlet Letter:
The Author:
Point of View
Point of View:
In The Scarlet Letter:
The Effect:
In The Scarlet Letter:
In The Scarlet Letter:
Protagonist, wears an A for "adultress"
Introverted and emotionally stable
Introverted and emotionally unstable
Town reverand, suffers inner turmoil from guilt
Secretly Hester's husband, consumed by vengeance
Extroverted and emotionally unstable
Hester's daughter, said to be sent from the devil
Extroverted and emotionally stable
Literary device intended to emphasize a point, technique used to evoke an emotional response
Sentence structure
Point of view
The choice and use of words and phrases
The arrangement of words and phrases to create a well-formed sentence
The use of symbols to represent ideas or qualities
An idea that recurs in or pervades a work of literature
Sentence in which additional details are added within a basic statement
Begin with an independent clause, followed by a series of phrases or clauses which amplify or explain the idea
Made up of two parts that are roughly equal in length, importance, and grammatical structure
The place or type of surroundings where an event takes place
The narrator's position in relation to the story being told
Dramatic: a narrative in which the reader knows something about present or future circumstances that a character in the story does not know
Situational: a state of affairs or an event that seems diliberately contrary to what one excpects and is often amusing as a result
Verbal: a writer makes a statement in which the actual meaning differs from the meaning that the words appear to express
The atmosphere or pervading tone of something
"Then, moreover the white locks of age were sometimes found to be the hatch of an intellectual tenement in good repair."
Hawthorne wrote the novel in 1850, which is made evident most notably in his word choice, which is old-fashioned and representative of romanticism which was the popular literary style of the time period.
The classic word choicage brings out the romantic tone of the novel which gives a sense of the time period. It's in concordance with the setting which helps the flow of the story and helps readers better relate to it.
The scarlet letter that Hester wears is itself the most significant symbol in the novel. It initially symbolizes Hesters shame and the consequences she must bear for her actions. However, over time it comes to bear the weight of all that's happened in Hesters life and becomes definitive of who Hester is as a person, representing her steadfast strength and personal growth. The townspeople eventually come to the belief that it stands for "able", the description that Hester has earned for herself throughout her period of punishment.
The meteor that's seen in the sky is a symbol that means different things to different people. To Dimmesdale it is a sign that he himself must bear the same mark of shame that Hester was made to wear. However, the townspeople are of the belief that it is a symbol for the word "angel", sent down from Heaven as a sign that the governor is safe in the afterlife.
The forest is a symbol which represents freedom from repression. It is a safe place where the main characters can go which seperates them from the restricting standards of their society and the judgement of those in their community. It represents the possibilities of a different life, a different time, with different circumstances, and the option of breaking away from societal rule.
The symbol of the scarlet letter is used to show the changable nature of humans and society, and to prove how with perseverance, one can overcome stigma and hardships, and that it's never too late to redeem yourself.
The symbol of the meteor goes to show how one thing can mean completely different things to different people, and that everything is in the eye of the beholder. It shows that humans will see simply what they want to see, and will close their minds to everything but what they believe should be true and what they think is important.
The symbol of the forest makes the point that there is always much more than what we see right in front of us, that there are entirely other worlds that we could inhabit if we so chose, and if we had the courage to abandon what has been embedded into us as the "right" way. It represents society and how it relates to humanity. Metaphorically speaking, it shows us the edges of the horizons and makes us wonder about what could be.
Boston town square
Hester's cottage
The prison
The book being written a long time ago, the settings of the novel correlate with the time period and society during that time.
Every setting in the novel has a specific tone to it, and therefore a specific mood. Each one of them represents a different aspect of the Puritan society. The events which take place in each setting result from the nature of the setting, and that also establishes what that specific place represents.
The Scarlet Letter is told from a third person omniscient point of view, with alternating focus on each of the main characters, paying specific thorough attention to the thoughts, actions, and motivation of each one of them individually.
Third person omniscient point of view allows readers be fully aware of every side of a story, resulting in a more thorough and detail orientated account of events. This point of view, as a result, focuses more attention on the telling of the story itself than on a main central character's experience and personal development. This prevents the reader from becoming as personally invested in the story, however it may make the story more interesting due to increased diversity of the story line. It gives the author a broader scope for his writing, and may potentially provide the reader with more to think about regarding the different events and characters and how they relate to one another.
Also, choosing to use the omniscient point of view as opposed to limited omniscient, the author made the decision to eliminate all elements of mystery from the story. This is a risk because it can easily result in readers becoming bored, which is why it's important to present them with a story that they can be personally interested in so that they may invest themselves in their reading.
The scarlet letter that Hester wore as a symbol of shame and punishment came to be admired by those around her, and gained her respect and credibility in her community.
The town reverand who is held in the highest esteem and is supposed to be the most virtuous of anyone, is the one who commited the act of adultery with Hester, and in the beginning of the story, he's the one supposedly attempting to persuade her to reveal who it was.
We know the whole time Chillingworth is trying to figure out who it was, that it was actually Dimmsdale, whom he's been spending so much time with, oblivious to the fact that he's the one he's looking to get revenge on.
Irony can be used to make a story more interesting, to eliminate predictability, to provide humor, or to emphasize a point being made. Hawthorne often used situational irony to emphasize the messages of the novel. He also used dramatic irony to draw readers in and increase the pace of the story.
The many examples of irony in the novel add a lot to the story and are intriquing for the reader to think about. It encourages readers to consider the reasons behind the irony, how the other aspects of rhetorical devices lend themselves to it, and what it says about the characters and the meaning of the story, and it does a good job of getting the intended message across.
Encompasses the attitude of the author toward the characters and audience
The all-over tone of the novel is rather grim and bleak, as well as very introspective and contemplative. It's generally very pessimistic.
The writer's tone results from what he wants to portray in the novel, and what is being portrayed and in what way is what is going to affect the reader, therefore mood is created as a direct result of tone.
A readers mood when reading a book is what determines how they are going to think of the book, how they interpret it's meanings, how it makes them feel in the long run, etc. The way Hawthorne tells the story, an attentive reader will become pensive when looking back on it and may feel similar to the way Hester felt throughout, as that's when Hawthorne's tone seemed to be strongest.
"You speak, my friend, with a strange earnestness."
"They sat down again, side by side, and hand clasped in hand, on the mossy trunk of the fallen tree."
"Now, however, her interview with the Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale, on the night of his vigil, had given her a new theme of reflection, and held up to her an object that appeared worthy of any exertion and sacrifice for its attainment."
Making use of many types of sentence structures adds a lot of variety to the text of a story, making it a lot less monotonous than it would otherwise be. It adds to the subtext also and it adds different levels and variance to the words, making them more interesting to read.
"Men bolder than these had overthrown and rearranged--not actually, but within the sphere of theory, which was their most real abode--the whole system of ancient prejudice, wherewith was linked much of ancient principle."
Hawthorne's style of syntax reflects a bit of irony in it's formality and reservation. It is very deliberate and very skeptical with a slight undertone of a very precise sort of dark humor. This relates to tone and gives reader an idea of the author's general disposition.
The syntax of the book can be very confusing but also has the potential to really bring the reader into the story and focus on what's being said in the writing itself. It has a flow to it that also sounds very natural as it is imitating the flow of human thought. This was likely due to the romantic nature of the novel.
Guilt and Blame
Free will
Human nature
The themes of the novel are what make it's characters believable and relatable, and what makes the story thought provoking. The ideas presented are meant to evoke emotion and contemplation in readers on the issues that the author specifically feels should be given special attention in the book. The book is like one long commentary on these subjects, and without them, the purpose of the novel would be lost, and any depth of character would be non-existent.
The authors tone is reflected in all of the aforementioned rhetorical devices and in the entire story as a whole. It's the most important aspect of a piece of literature because it makes a story what it is.
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