Analyze Hawthorne's syntax in the first chapter of the Scarlet Letter.

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enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The opening sentence, which is also the opening paragraph of the story, not to be confused with the opening of the lengthy prologue found in the beginning of the novel,  which is the historical account as to how and why Hawthorne came to be inspired to write the tale of Hester Prynne, contains 5 adjectival phrases describing the dress of the assembled crowd, followed by two more which describe the door of the jail. Indeed, the compound-complex sentence structure found within the work allows Hawthorne to communicate in great detail the settings of the story and the dispositions of the players.  Written in third person omniscient form, he is able to comment on the psychological aspects of both characters and surroundings.

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The Scarlet Letter

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