The Scarlet Letter Rhetorical Devices

Allusion “they marked out the first burial-ground, on Isaac Johnson’s lot, and round about his grave,” (45)
Alliteration “fragrance and fragile beauty” (46)
Metonymy “we could hardly do otherwise than pluck one of its flowers, and present it to the reader”
Prosthesis “It could have betokened nothing short of the anticipated execution” (47)
Periphrasis “the white man’s fire-water” (47)
Simile “there appeared… like a black shadow emerging into sunshine” (49)
Diction “There can be no outrage, methinks, against out common nature” (53)
Rhetorical Question “Could it be true?” (56)
Anaphora “with the hot mid-day sun burning down upon her face, light up it’s shame; with the scarlet token of infamy on her breast, with the sin-born baby in her arms, with the whole people , drawn forth, as if to a festival” (59)
Parenthesis “But he opposes me (with a young man’ over-softness, albeit wise upon his years)”
Simile “Hester Prynne had become as still as death…” (66)
Allusion “I know not Lethe nor Nepenthe…” (67)
Irony “Her skill was called in aid to embroider the white veil which was to cover the pure blushes of a bride” (76).
Alliteration “With a faint, chill crimson in her cheeks” (80)
Pathos “Lonely as was Hester’s situation, and without a friend … who dared show herself” (75)
Metaphor “… that little creature, whole innocent life had spring, by the indestructible decree of providence a lovely and immoral flower” (81).
Litotes “On the supposition that Pearl, as already hinted, was of demon origin, these good people not unreasonably argued that a Christian Interest in the mother’s soul required them to remove such a stumbling-block from her path” (91).
Apocope “She was now of an age to run lightly along by her mother’s side, and, constantly in motion, from morn til sunset, could have accomplished a much longer journey than that before her.” (92)
Metaphor “It was the scarlet letter in another form; the scarlet letter endowed with life!” (93)
Alliteration “She screamed and shouted, too, with a terrific volume of sound, which, doubtless, cause the hearts of fugitives to quake within them” (93).
Allusion “Hester Prynne whet, one day to the mansion of governor Bellingham….”
Ellipsis “It may be we shall see flowers there; more beautiful ones than we find in the woods” (97)
Apposition “There were a few rose-bushes, however, and a number of apple-trees, probably the descendants of those planted by the Reverend Mr. Blackstone, the first settler of the peninsula; that half-mythological personage, who rides through our early annals, seated on the back of a bull” (98(
Prosthesis “In fact, adown the vista of the garden avenue a number of persons were seen approaching towards the house” (98)
Polyptoton “”Nevertheless”, said the mother, calmly, through growing more pale, “this badge hath taught me-it daily teaches me-it is teaching me at this moment-lessons where of my child may be the wiser and better, albeit they can profit nothing to myself” (101)
Simile “But the child, unaccustomed to the touch of familiarity of any but her mother, escaped through the open window, and stood on the upper step looking like a wild tropical bird, of rich plumage, ready to take flight into the upper air.” (101)
Simile “Roger Chillingworth- the man of skill, the kind and friendly physician- strove to go deep into his patient’s bosom, delving among his principles, prying into his recollections, and probing everything with a cautious touch, like a treasure seeker in a dark cavern.” (113)
Allusion “He was heard to speak of Sir Kenelm Digby, and other famous men….” (110).
Parallelism “I could be well content that my labors, and my sorrows, and my sins, and my pains, should shortly end with me…” (111)
Aphorism “Good men ever interpret themselves too meanly” (111)
Ellipsis The battle was a sore one, and the victory anything but secure” (117)
Polyptoton “These revelations, unless I great err, are meant merely to promote the intellectual satisfaction of all intelligent beings” (120)
Rhetorical Questions “How can it be otherwise? Why should a wretched man, guilty, we will say, of murder, prefer to keep the dead corpse buried in his own heart, rather than fling it forth at once, and let the universe take care of it” (120
Alliteration “Pearl clapped her hands in the most extravagant ecstasy” (122)
Anaphora “Come away, mother! Come away, or yonder old Black Man will catch you!… Come away, mother, or he will catch you” (?)
Periphrasis “But, if it be the soul’s disease, then do I commit myself to the one Physician of the soul”(124).

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