Irony Widens the Brain Essay

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Nathaniel Hawthorne has a very impressive way of using his mastery of irony to portray the truth of the characters in his remarkable novels. The Scarlet Letter, a novel taken place in sixteenth century about a young woman named Hester Prynne who wears an “A” on her chest as punishment for her adulterous actions with the minister of the town, Arthur Dimmesdale. Hawthorne uses the names of characters or their abilities to stand out from their true qualities. Puritans consider the town is what people have built up and the forest is the true goals and standards of the people. In the Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne conveys several different types of irony – not just in the characters but in the symbolism and true meanings as well. There are numerous examples throughout the novel. One example is the rosebush, a plant which stands outside of the prison and is considered the only living thing in society. The rosebush is ironic because it is marked by both the thorn and the color red and it is where Hester is located for a period of punishment of love. One of the most obvious examples of irony is that Dimmesdale is a minister who is highly admired for his sermons but is Hester’s lover. Chillingworth, Hester’s husband, is portrayed as an alchemist whose goal is surprisingly ironic. Chillingworth’s goal was not to kill Dimmesdale but to make his life is living hell. Ironically, the more Dimmesdale’s hypocrisy eats him alive, the more the townspeople believe he is holy, which then makes him feel even more insincere. These examples of irony are considered irony of situation – when a situation has unexpected results. Hawthorne uses verbal irony (when a character says something but means something else) in chapter two when Hester stands on the scaffold in town and Dimmesdale asks her to reveal who the father of her baby is, yet he knows he is the father. Hawthorne describes Pearl

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