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Scarlet Letter Character Anaylsis Essay

927 words - 4 pages

People can communicate with body language while they speak to convey what they really mean but in books there is no physical body language to interpret. That is why it is essential for an author to choose every word carefully, so the reader can see the body language through his words. Nathaniel Hawthorne does this in The Scarlet Letter through his diction, images, details, language, and sentence structure.The diction used in the selection of The Scarlet Letter changes for each character to evoke different emotions from the reader. Hawthorne uses positive diction whenever he describes Pearl and her actions. When Hawthorne describes Pearl as, "wild", "spontaneously", and ...view middle of the document...

However, Pearl is always seen in the light because she is not corrupted by societies' standards. "Pearl, that wild and flighty little elf", provokes images in the reader of a young child at play without a care in the world. It also reiterates to the reader that Pearl is only a child and still does not have social stigmas. Hawthorne uses this cheerful image of Pearl to contrast with Dimmesdale to show his flaws and Pearl's purity.Details are used to tell directly about a character and can be a window to his or her personality. The details about Dimmesdale are a representation of his character; he "had withdrawn a few steps from the group", shows the reader that Dimmesdale wants to be secluded from everyone and hints at his sinful side. Then the reader sees how he "kissed [Pearl's] brow", this contrasts with the readers first perception of him. It shows the reader that Dimmesdale has a gentle side and is not just another hypocrite. Details about Pearl show her natural affinity to Dimmesdale and no one else. She, "taking his hand" and "caress [it] so tender", shows she knows that he is her father and wants to be with him but she cannot. It also reveals that Pearl is intelligent and aware of many things the reader may have thought she did not really understand. Hawthorne uses details to make sure the reader recognizes major character traits, like Dimmesdale's compassion and Pearl's intelligence.Hawthorne's language changes little through the book, so it is usually important when it does. The language for...

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