Analysis of Rhetoric

Chapter Three: The Recognition

In chapter three, Hawthorne uses many rhetorical devices to convey his purpose. He starts off with using imagery to specifically and accurately describe his new character, Chillingworth.  “He was small in stature, with a furrowed visage, which as yet, could hardly be termed aged. There was a remarkable intelligence in his features…” (Hawthorne 52). The description of Chillingworth allows the reader to imagine what he looks like. By knowing his physical features, a glimpse of his personality is available. For example, “one of this man’s shoulders rose higher than any other” (Hawthorne 52) is used to symbolize an irregularity in his character. That one shoulder is higher than the other is an outward manifestation of his inward wickedness.

Hawthorne institutes repetition to stress things that are important. In this chapter, repetition is used with “But he will be known! – he will be known! – he will be known!” (Hawthorne 54). This repetition from the townsman stresses, from the beginning, how important it was to discover Chillingworth. The importance stressed by the repetition foreshadowed how important the identity of Pearl’s father would be through the rest of the book.

Another instance of repetition is near the end of the chapter. The word “speak” (Hawthorne 58) is used more than a couple of times. This shows how pressure there was on Hester to disclose the identity that she wanted to keep secret. The Puritans put large amounts of pressure on those who did not follow their norms to give up and become like them. The Puritans believed that this would be best. This shows how strongly Hester felt about being an individual. Through all of the pressure she stayed true to herself. She believed that it was best to be an individual even if it meant short term discomfort, because in the long run it would be best for herself.

Chapter One: The Prison-Door

Hawthorne used much imagery in his opening chapter. He greatly explained everything he wanted the reader to imagine. In his opening line he described the people around as “a throng of bearded men” (Hawthorne 41) and wearing “sad-colored garments and gray, steeple-crowned hats” (Hawthorne 41). From the beginning descriptions were used to set the mood.

Hawthorne compares the prison to “the black flower of civilized society” (Hawthorne 41). He calls it a “flower” to contrast with the rosebush growing next to the prison. He used this metaphor to show how intolerance is bad. The black flower of the prison held all of the different people from the society and the rosebush outside symbolized how they could blossom if they were tolerated and let out of prison.