Now, one may wonder how syntax or specific diction can expose a theme, however, the specific way an author chooses to word a sentence and work a statement often reveals much more than the reader might see at first. The syntax and diction in this paragraph reveal the vast effect sin has over Hester’s life and the influence it has over her. The author uses, along with a myriad of other adjectives, the word “her” repeatedly to describe Hester, with, “her guilt” and “her earthly punishment” and “her daily shame.” Using the word her over and over again reinforces the fact that the punishment is all hers to bear. Although she has repented, this sin will always be “hers” and always be known by those around her as her sin. Hester’s life is so dominated by this sin she will always possess. Also, as the paragraph continues, Hester reveals that the sin has transformed her life by reforming places near her, which is revealed through multiple uses of prepositional phrases, such as “of her heart”, “before the bar of final judgment”, and “of her guilt”; all of these phrases define places which the sin has or will effect her life in the future. These prepositional phrases continuously add detail and reveal the area in which Hester is affected. The sin has ruined her spiritually, personally, and communally. These specific diction choices ultimately culminate with the conclusion with the very last word of the paragraph, “martyrdom.” This extremely significant diction choice shows that Hester believes she will become a martyr and suffer from her sin. She truly believes that her life has been ruined by this sin. This sin that has totally warped her way of life spiritually and physically. The diction and syntax in this paragraph exposes the level of severity in which a single sin has affected her entire life.
We have talked about both rhetoric and syntax, and now we will examine how rhetoric reinforces the overarching theme in this paragraph. The rhetoric in this piece reflects the theme that sin ruins a person’s life. First, personification is used as the sin “struggles out of her heart.” No matter how hard