I beg to differ

“I have laughed…

on October 22, 2013

“I have laughed, in bitterness and agony of heart, at the contrast between what I seem and what I am!” -Dimmesdale (Hawthorne, 147)

This quote in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter serves to illustrate just one of many instances where the author points out a literary device (in this case, irony). When I started reading this novel, I was surprised and a bit confused about the author’s straightforwardness about his writing style. It is something I am unfamiliar with, because my English teachers have always encouraged me to search deeply for hidden symbols and analyze the effect of metaphors and conceits. Hawthorne also describes how much Pearl looks like the scarlet letter, and how the brook is a dividing line between two worlds. All of this candid narration makes me wonder, Is there more? Is the author pointing out these simple literary devices so we can spend more time pondering on the more important aspects of the book? Or is he trying to give his reader a more active narration, by adding his own insight?

What do you think about Hawthorne’s style in The Scarlet Letter? Did you notice his “comments” while reading the book? What do you think his intentions were? Please let me know in the comments below.


3 responses to ““I have laughed…

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