Scarlet Letter Rhetorical Analysis Essay

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In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses a lengthy writing style and rhetoric to express meaning and emotions in his novel. In one specific passage in Chapter 23 of the novel, he uses pathos, homily, hyperbole, anaphora, and parallelism to connect rhetoric and meaning, and further advance the plot. In the beginning of the passage selected, Dimmesdale begins his journey into confession. As he gathers the attention of the town’s citizens, his voice is described as “high, solemn, and majestic- yet had always a tremor through it, and sometimes a shriek, struggling up out of a fathomless depth of remorse and woe” (237). Hawthorne’s description of Dimmesdale’s unsteady, shaking voice, and his deep internal conflict induce pathos in the reader, in order to make the scene more identifiable with the audience. Dimmesdale’s emotions that are appealing to the reader also assists in putting the current …show more content…

He addresses the crowd with “ye, that have loved me!- ye, that have deemed me holy!- behold me here, the one sinner of the world!” (237). In this phrase, Dimmesdale uses hyperbole to express his repentance. In this society, he is idolized as a man who can do no wrong, and he is what every citizen and their children aspire to be in life. In a previous chapter, it is stated that “if Mr. Dimmesdale were really going to die, it was cause enough that the world was not worthy to be any longer trodden by his feet” (119). With this exaggeration, implying he is the only true sinner in the entire world, he is shattering this perfect image he has created, thus truly confronting and introducing the real person he has become over the past few years. He later continues to shame himself by explaining how he should have been there with Hester as she was being ridiculed and outcasted seven years prior, and that he is so weak in comparison to the woman she has

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