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Edwards Essay

778 words - 4 pages

“How awful it is for that person which suffers this great wrath and infinite misery!”(Edwards 89-90). This is the best example of Edwards doing what he does best in his sermons; using literary devices to scare people. Why would anyone do this? Well, he uses fear for persuasion. How he does this is carefully and delicately layered in his words. Edwards uses loaded language, vivid imagery, and specific types of sentences in order to scare his audience into becoming better Puritans.
Edwards uses his “loaded language” in a number of examples, though this one stands out: “…and you shall suffer without any hope of deliverance, any rest, any mitigation to this wrath.” (Edwards 79-80) This example ...view middle of the document...

Edwards’s use of imagery is used to scare people, in this case, to convert to Puritanism. As a final note, the use of loaded language is prominent is this example as well.
What remains then is the use of different sentences to inspire fear. The best example to look at is the quote at the beginning of this paper: “How awful it is for that person which suffers this great wrath and infinite misery!”(Edwards 89-90). This is an exclamatory sentence, but that is not important when looking at how this is being spoken. The way this is being spoken matters more because this piece of literature was originally delivered as a sermon, which is not visualized, but heard. This sentence’s structure is perfectly tuned for instilling shame and fear. The way this sentence works to instill those thoughts is by directly declaring that the said experience “that person” has is awful. This is overall accepted by the audience, as most would agree that suffering great wrath and infinite misery is awful.
In order to better understand how this works overall, a few things must be mentioned. First, it is mentioned earlier that an unconverted person experiences god’s entire wrath, which, according to Edwards, is “this great wrath and infinite misery”. The wrath...

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