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The Literary Devices Used in Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

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Jonathan Edwards is a great author that uses literary devices that has a majorly good effect on how we read and comprehend books today, in this story I will show you the literary devices that he uses. “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” is a book that tries to help sinners everywhere to warn them that God will stand in judgment of their actions and that their punishment may be harsher than they could ever imagine if they don’t try and repent for their sins. This books main point is to warn sinners that they must repent for their sinful ways and turn to God for forgiveness and acceptance before it is too late for them.

Imagery is visually descriptive or figurative language, especially in a literary work, ‘There is no other reason to be given why you have not gone to hell, since you have sat here in the house of god, provoking his pure eyes by your sinful wicked manner of attending his solemn worship.’ The author is employing vivid imagery in the book to prove the point that salvation is in God’s hands alone.

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Personification is the attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something nonhuman, or the representation of an abstract quality in human form, “The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked.” In ways the spider held over that flame, hinges over personification in the way of God as a human being. Essentially, the whole sermon is a list of ways telling us how God is great and humans are not and they are evil beings.

A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable, “The greatest earthly potentates in their greatest majesty and strength…are but feeble, despicable worms of the dust, in comparison of the great and almighty Creator and King of heavens.” The author uses this metaphor to express how even powerful potentates are nothing but feeble worms in comparison to God and his power.

A Simile is a figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind, used to make a description more emphatic or vivid, ‘That they were always exposed to destruction; as one that stands or walks in slippery places is always exposed to fall.’ In this quote here, Mr.Edwards uses a simile to explain how insecure the position of the ‘wicked unbelieving Israelites.’

The purpose of imagery is to create pictures in the mind of the reader, pictures that evoke certain feelings which the writer desires the reader to feel. Edwards uses imagery to convey his message on why him and his fellow sinners need to change their ways so that God won’t be so cruel to them and so he can be able to forgive them. “The world of misery, the lake of burning brimstone, is extended abroad, under you. There is a dreadful pit of glowing flames of the wrath of God’. I can see exactly what this quote is saying in my mind this quote because the imagery Edwards is using so powerful. Thus finally bringing this to a close, it is important to learn and know your literary devices so it can help you later in life with anything, not just essays and paragraphs and stuff like that.

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