Scarlet Letter

Topics: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Puritan Pages: 4 (1407 words) Published: January 26, 2014
Kayla Lang
1/21/14
Sin Victimizes the Innocent
In the novel The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne explores the idea of sin and how it affected those in the Puritan era. Hester Prynne, with her baby in her arms, is ridiculed in front of the entire town. Hester and her daughter are shunned to a house on the outskirts of town, isolating them from the Puritan community. Pearl and Hester grow up in the town alone as social outcasts, but they do have each other. Pearl is raised by her single mother, and soon becomes very mature for her age. She grows up without any fatherly figure, and only has her mother and her imagination. She is constantly being disappointed by the actions of her real father, Dimmesdale. Pearl grows up to be known as a witch baby and the demon child. Hawthorne uses Pearl to express how she is affected by her mother’s sin, even though she is innocent of sin.

Pearl becomes a social outcast due to her mom’s awful sin that isolated them both from the Puritan community. The Puritan community is intent on shunning Pearl as much as they shun her mother. All of the kids in the town ignore her and make fun of her when she walks through town with her mother. When kids do come up to Pearl “she throws stones at them”(97) and yells at them to go away. The Puritan community has taught their own children to shun Hester and her daughter that is innocent of sin. Even though Pearl has not committed any sort of sin, she is constantly teased and ignored by other children because she is a product of sin. People during this time can’t seem to look past the sin, but only look at the damage that already has been done instead of the repairs that are being made. Since all of the children in the Puritan community shun Pearl, she is forced to play alone. She uses sticks, flowers, and rags to make “the puppets of her witchcraft” (98). Pearl makes playmates out of inanimate objects because she has no one but her mom to be with. She doesn’t play with them, but...
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