Figurative Language In The Scarlet Letter

Please identify examples of figurative language in The Scarlet Letter and The House of Seven Gables as he probed the darker side of Puritan New England.

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Here are some more examples of figurative language:

The Scarlet Letter

Metaphor - Often Hawthorne compares happenings and objects to abstract qualities. 

  • In Chapter 1, the symbolic rosebush at the prison door is compared to "a token that the deep heart of Nature could pity and be kind to him [the prisoner who enters]."
  • Roger Chillingworth is compared to a fiend and calls himself this. In Chapter 10, he rejoices in his discovery of what is on the chest of the Reverend Dimmesdale and is compared to Satan:

Had a man seen old Roger Chillinworth, at that moment of his ectasy, he would have no need to ask how Satan comports himself when a precious human soul is lost to heaven.

  • Called "an imp" and "a sprite," n Chapter 8 Pearl is likened to a bird by Rev. Mr. Wilson, "What little bird of scarlet plumage may this be?"
  • Governor Billingham calls Hester's scarlet letter a "badge of shame."
  • Hester declares that Pearl is her "torture."  "See ye not....she is the scarlet letter, only capable of being loved,.."
  • In Chapter 10,...

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