D. H Lawrence was known as a novelist, poet, painter and a literary critic. Lawrence criticized several works, one of his major criticisms was written on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s book The Scarlet Letter. Lawrence greatly disfavored the whole book, the critique is all written in a very sarcastic and sardonic tone, as he mentions that the greatest triumph of American women is to seduce all pure men. Lawrence uses three literary devices to demonstrate how the two most purest sinners of the book are not so pure as Hawthorne wants his readers to depict them.
Lawrence uses allusions, tone, and repetition to give an insight on why he greatly dislikes the book. A literary device Lawrence uses is allusion. Allusion is a figure of speech whereby the author refers to a place, event, or literary work by making a reference. Lawrence mentions the Magna Mater, he said “Put her upon the scaffold and worship her there. Worship her there. The woman, the Magna Mater. ” The Magna Mater stands for “great mother” and is usually used to title goddesses. Lawrence compares Hester to a goddess.
Saying that the townspeople should worship her on the scaffold, which is where Hester would be publicly humiliated for committing adultery. By using this allusion Lawrence is stating that publicly humiliating Hester gave her more attention, which is what she wanted, she wanted the attention of seducing the purest man. At another point in the critique Lawrence mentions, the book, The Deerslayer, Lawrence stated “the Deerslayer refused to be seduced by Judith Hutter. At least the sodom apple of sin didn’t fetch him. ” In the book The Deerslayer Judith Hutter is known for her love of luxuries, fine clothing, and her attraction for men.
Judith attempts to love the Deerslayer but he rejects her. Lawrence compares Judith to Hester and the Deerslayer to Dimmesdale. Lawrence is calling Hester a woman who only cares for the luxuries of life, considering his comparison to Judith Hutter. Dimmesdale is mocked by Lawrence, he states “At least the sodom apple of sin didn’t fetch him. ” Lawrence clearly labels Dimmesdale as weak and immature for letting “the sodom apple of sin” which is Hester Prynne to conquer over his emotions and allow her to seduce him.
Not only does Lawrence master the use of allusions by comparing Dimmesdale and Hester to The Deerslayer, and sarcastically comparing Hester to a “goddesses”, but he also uses tone to emphasize his aversion for Nathaniel Hawthorne’s book, The Scarlet Letter. Lawrence’s tone throughout the majority of the critique is quite snide. Lawrence states “Oh Hester, you are a demon. A man must be pure just that you can seduce him to a fall. Because the greatest thrill in life is to bring down the sacred saint with a flop into the mud.
Lawrence uses a snide tone to insult Hester of her sin. Lawrence is stating that Hester’s main goal in the book was to seduce Dimmesdale and take his purity, this is clearly stated when Lawrence said “A man must be pure just that you can seduce him to a fall. ” Considering Dimmesdale was the purest man in the village, Lawrence made it seem, by using tone, that Hester’s goal from the beginning of the book was to seduce the purest man. Another quot ce from the critique that reveals Lawrence’s snide tone is when he states “This is perhaps, the most colossal satire ever penned.
The Scarlet Letter. And by a blue eyed darling of a Nathaniel. ” Lawrence says that The Scarlet Letter is the biggest joke in literature and mocks Nathaniel Hawthorne by using the words “blue eyed darling. ” Repetition is another literary device that Lawrence uses to clearly emphasize that ridiculous message that he acquired due to Hawthorne’s writing style in The Scarlet Letter. “Abell Abell Abell Admirable” is this quote Lawrence refers to Abell, Adam and Eve’s youngest son who was murdered by Cain.
Abell is remembered as the first person to be murdered, Lawrence compares Abell’s remembrance to Hester’s. Hester, even though she did sin, she is put on the scaffold to be publicly humiliated, Lawrence views it as not “public humiliation” but attention that Hester craved. Lawrence also constantly repeats the letter “A” he states “Adulteress, alpha, Abell, Adam, America. ” Lawrence finds a correlation between all of these words beginning with the letter “A” and says that there is no coincidence that they all start with the same letter as adulteress.
Lawrence uses repetition to prove that Hester is not a hero, nor an innocent women who just wanted to fall in love again. Using all three literary devices, tone, allusion, and repetition, Lawrence uses strong examples and comparisons to show why hester is the nemesis to all American women and how Dimmesdale could have prevented everything, if he wasn’t so weak. This critique gives a strong argument on Dimmesdale and Hester not being “innocent” for their sin of adultery.