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grotesque
used in The Scarlet Letter

3 uses
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Definition distorted and unnatural in shape or size — especially in a disturbing way

or:

ugly or gross
  • The vulgar, who, in those dreary old times, were always contributing a grotesque horror to what interested their imaginations, had a story about the scarlet letter which we might readily work up into a terrific legend.
    Chapter 5 -- Hester at her Needle (97% in)
  • Carried away by the grotesque horror of this picture, the minister, unawares, and to his own infinite alarm, burst into a great peal of laughter.
    Chapter 12 -- The Minister's Vigil (45% in)
  • Nor would it have been impracticable, in the observance of majestic ceremonies, to combine mirthful recreation with solemnity, and give, as it were, a grotesque and brilliant embroidery to the great robe of state, which a nation, at such festivals, puts on.
    Chapter 21 -- The New England Holiday (47% in)

There are no more uses of "grotesque" in The Scarlet Letter.

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