The Underpinnings Of Literary Style In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

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A multitude of literary works possess much more information than an initial review reveals which is no accident on the author’s part. One author who epitomizes this method of writing is Nathaniel Hawthorne and his book The Scarlet Letter. Following a thorough review of the book, the underpinnings of literary elements reveal the way in which he incorporates his dynamic tone throughout the story, and, with extensive research, conclusions can be made as to why he wrote the novel. Exploring the latter topic allows analysts of all kind gain further insight on his character and its relation to the books content. In the assessment of symbolism’s role in the distribution of tone, one can find that Hawthorne uses a myriad of objects and characters…show more content…
In his style, word choice play a role as evidenced in Arthur Dimmesdale’s last moments when Chillingworth “[tears] away the ministerial bands from before his chest” and the “down he [sinks] upon the scaffold” (210). Here, words like “taken” are replaced by “tore” and falls by “sank.” By doing this, the tone is not monotonous, rather it is theatrical and thrilling. As for sentence structure, it is obvious that Hawthorne’s sentences is unconventional to the modern eye as it uses an unconventional amount of commas. The reasoning behind this is not nearly likely to confuse readers, rather the wordiness adds depth to the story and can keep the intrigued reader thirsty to learn more. In some instances, even a suspenseful tone is created since the sentences are dragged on. The dynamic tone can switch from a peaceful one where the setting is being described to a suspenseful one such as where Chillingworth lurks over Dimmesdale’s sleeping body. This ability to seamlessly flow from one feeling to another adds to the overall flow of the story as well. Hawthorne liberally uses motifs for tone. One example is the repetition of Pearl’s strange yet acute behavior. He does this to emphasize the fact that Pearl is a product of sin. As for tone, it makes for a dreadful tone since Hester does not enjoy being incessantly reminded of her sin and crime. She explicitly expresses this position…show more content…
Roger Chillingworth is first described as a quiet peaceful man who adores nature. Therefore, whenever he was mentioned, the novel took a peaceful even estranged tone. As the story progresses, his character takes a dark turn and has “grown to exist only by perpetual poison of the direst revenge” (124). Hester is described as a beautiful women with a truly good heart despite her flaw. With her character, there is a hopeful and righteous tone and that does not change until her death when her mentioning brings a grieving tone in addition to hopeful. As for Arthur Dimmesdale, there is a regretful tone in the narration. He is described as an emaciating man who brings solemnity to the story. His purpose as a character is to attract a feeling of sympathy which, in turn, adds to Roger’s distasteful character. Waggoner says that each character and a piece of nature are related (Waggoner). In effect, the relation between characters, symbols, and tone are more closely brought together. So with this in mind, it can be seen that each character allows Hawthorne to dynamically change and incorporate the story’s tone through each of

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