Rhetorical Devices In Nathaniel Hawthorne's 'The Scarlet Letter'

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He uses the rhetorical device catachresis, or a hyperbolic metaphor and consonant blends when describing his ancestors to stress his already made emphasis on his views of them. There can be little doubt of Hawthorne's disdain for the stern morality and rigidity of the Puritans, and he imagines his predecessors' disdainful view of him: unsuccessful in their eyes, worthless and disgraceful. "A writer of story books!" But even as he disagrees with his ancestor's viewpoint, he also feels an instinctive connection to them and, more importantly, a "sense of place" in Salem. Their blood remains in his veins, but their intolerance and lack of humanity become the subject of his novel.

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