Figurative Language in Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God
The figurative language in the sermon demonstrates God’s anger towards sinners. Edwards (110) compares God’s influence over humans to that of a spider over its hunt, to show God’s control over people. Edwards (109) writes “God’s wrath is like great water that increases more and more, and rises higher and higher,” to illustrate God’s increasing anger towards sinners. “The fiery floods of the fierceness and the wrath of God,” demonstrates the ferocity of God’s fury on humans (Edwards 109). Edwards (108) uses imagery in “Hell is gaping for them, the flames gather, and flash about them,” to show hell’s readiness for sinners. “The bow of God’s wrath is bent, and the arrow ready on the string” (Edwards 109), gives an impression on God’s readiness to deliver justice. Edwards (108) humanizes hell when he mentions it is gaping for sinners. Edwards (110) notes “You are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes,” to exaggerate the extent of human sin in God’s view. The use of metaphors, similes, personification, and hyperbole create vivid descriptions and invoke a reaction to the message on God’s anger and its consequences on humans.
Puritan Plain Style in To my Dear and Loving Husband
To my Dear and Loving Husband addresses the author’s husband and shows Anne’s feeling towards her husband and Anne’s beloved’s tenderness towards her. Bradstreet (line 1) declares the love shared in her marriage and rejoices in its joy suggesting that no other woman could be happier than her (Bradstreet, line 4). Bradstreet (line 7) compares her endearment to an unquenchable thirst. The author uses a romantic language to express her feelings towards her husband. The author incorporates archaic words such as doth, ought, ye, and thy, to show the language used during her time. Bradstreet uses direct words, syntax inversion, concise statements, and reference to her conjugal relationship, to demonstrate the Puritan plain language (Middeke 103). Bradstreet (line 1) shows inversion, where the modern style would note “If ever two were one, then surely it would be us.” Bradstreet (line 10-12) appeals to the heavens to bless her marriage with everlasting love to the life beyond earth. Bradstreet reflection on her marriage, use of syntax inversion, and reference to God represent the Plain Puritan style.
Symbolism and Allegory in The Minister’s Black Veil
The Minister’s Black Veil teaches goodness and evil in the community. Mr. Hopper wears a black veil to illustrate the human inclination to hide wrongdoings and to remind people of sin and reality. Mr. Hopper’s denial to remove the veil causes fear and confusion among the townspeople who once admired and loved him, resulting in Mr. Hooper’s isolation, grief, and loss of fiancée. Mr. Hopper, however, keeps helping people overcome moral dilemmas, and shows them tenderness and compassion. Mr. Hopper’s self-sacrifice represents goodness while the denial of the villagers to embrace Mr. Hopper’s changes shows evilness.
The black veil represents the sinful nature of humans and lack of awareness in wrongdoings. Mr. Hopper emerges wearing a black mask that causes an uproar in the town, and the people assume the covering conceals his guilt of secret sin (Hawthorne, par. 6 and 33). Mr. Hopper’s sermons focus on the mysterious wrongdoings that humans feel inclined to hide from one another and their subconscious, unaware that God knows the ills (Hawthorne, par. 12). Humans perform sinful acts and wear different facades to hide reality. Mr. Hopper acknowledges his sin and uses the veil to encourage his followers to follow in his footsteps.
The church bell represents the cheerful mood in the town. Children emerge with bright faces as they skip merrily beside their parent, and the elegant bachelors admire the beautiful maidens who seemed prettier on the Sabbath compared to other days of the week (Hawthorne, par. 1). The town’s mood brightens at the ringing of the bell and excitement is evident as the people attempt to appear well groomed for the Sabbath.
- Bradstreet, Anne. “To My Dear And Loving Husband.” The Complete Works Of Anne Bradstreet, Joseph R. McElrath Jr, and Allan P Robb, 1st ed., Twayne Publishers, Woodridge, CT, 1981, Accessed 18 Mar 2019.
- Edwards, Jonathan. “Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God”. Prentice Hall Literature Timeless Voices Timeless Theme: Silver Edition, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2002, pp. 108-112, Accessed 18 Mar 2019.
- Hawthorne, Nathaniel. “The Minister’s Black Veil.” Andromeda.Rutgers.Edu, 1846, http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Texts/ministersblackveil.html. Accessed 18 Mar 2019.
- Middeke, Martin et al. English and American Studies: Theory and Practice. J.B. Metzler, 2012.