Rhetorical Devices Essay

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Puritan society in the seventeenth century was on of the most rigid societies in the history of human civilization. As a result of this rigidity, dissenters are often severely punished, as indicated in the first chapter of The Scarlet Letter. Through the usage of imagery, diction, and contrast, Hawthorne conveys the society’s strict conformity and establishes a tone of sadness in the novel. At the start of the chapter, Hawthorne immediately conveys the tone of sadness with the use of imagery. He chooses many words that appeal to the senses, such as gray, sad-colored, and weather-stains. These words give a sense of dreariness by appealing to the sense of sight. The quote, “the door of which was heavily timbered with oak and studded with iron spikes” appeals to the sense of sight and, by doing do, contributes to Hawthorne’s establishment of a tone of sadness. The quote also indicates the strict conformity of the puritan society, which is the cause of its sadness, as shown through Hawthorne’s use of imagery. With his use of diction, Hawthorne firmly establishes the tone of sadness in the novel. He chooses to use words such as darkening close, crime, gloomy, darker aspect, unsightly, frailty, and sorrow, which helps accomplish the dreariness in the tone. Even with the title of the first chapter being “The Prison Door”, Hawthorne immediately indicates punishment as a result of strict conformity. His diction has emphasis on darkness, which is a result of the rigidity of puritan society. The darkness, in turn, causes sadness among the people of the society, which Hawthorne indicates in his diction. Hawthorne uses contrast to convey the novel’s sadness. The quote, “The founders of a new colony, whatever utopia of human virtue and happiness the might originally project, have invariably recognized it among their earliest practical necessities to allot a portion of the
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