What are some quotes and page numbers containing figurative language in The Scarlet Letter in chapters 19-20?Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Heralded as one of the greatest works of American literature, Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter is replete with figurative language.  Here are some examples:

Chapter XIX

  • "Had she gathered pearls, and diamonds, and rubies in the wood, they could not have become her better! (figurative language) (paragraph 1) Pearl's beauty is such that simple flowers adorn her as well as gems." (simile)
  • "In her was visible the tie that united them. (metaphor--Pearl is the visible proof of the physical union of Hester and Dimmesdale)  (par.4)
  • "She had been offered to the world,...as the living hieroglyphic (metaphor), in which was revealed the secret they so darkly sought to hide...." "Pearl was the oneness of their being." (metaphor)
  • "Our Pearl is a fitful and fantastic little elf sometimes." (alliteration of /f/;metaphor)
  • "Pearl....had strayed out of the sphere in which she and her mother dwelt together...." (metaphor)
  • "'....this brook is the boundary between two worlds..." (metaphor)
  • "Or is she an elfish spirit...foridden to cross a running stream?" (metaphor)
  • "Thou canst leap like a young deer!" (simile)
  • "in the mirror of the brook"
  • "flower-girdled and sunny image of little Pearl" (figurative language)

Chapter XX

  • "the Old World" (metaphor for England and Europe)
  • "...a ship...roamed over its surface with a remarkable irresponsibility of character." (personification)
  • "No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be true." (figurative language, metaphor in "face" as putting on the appearance)
  • "a single day had operated on his consciousness like the lapse of years." (simile)
  • "I am not the man for whom you take me!  I left him yonder in the forest,..." (figurative language)
  • "He absolutely trembled and turned pale as ashes" (simile)
  • "this terror in his heart"  (metaphor for fear)
  • "You carry it off like an old hand!" (simile)
  • "Another man had returned out of the forest; a wiser one..." (metaphors)
  • "administered by a friendly hand" (metonymy)
  • "I hardly think to tarry with my flock..." (metaphor for congregation)
  • "A good man's prayers are golden recompense!" (metaphor)
  • ..."and only wondered that Heaven should see fit to transmit (personification) the grand and solemn music of its oracles (metaphor) through so foul and organ pipe as he. ( simile)
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The Scarlet Letter

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