Scarlet Letter

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Have you ever had something that brings you both joy and torture? In the book the Scarlet letter the main character Pearl punishes her mother by constantly reminding her of the horrible deed that she has done, yet Pearl also brings Hester joy. The author-Nathaniel Hawthorn-uses Pearl as a symbol of punishment and a gift. The author uses symbols and diction to convey the theme that even the most brutal of punishments can be confernting. Hawthorne uses diction to showhow Hester’s precious Pearl hurts her on the outside. Even though Hester loves her daughter and her daughter brings her joy, there are certain things about Pearl that frighten Hester and torture her. The auther is able to show this in the quote, “It was as if an evil spirit possessed the child and had peeped forth in mockery. Many time afterwards had Hester been tortured, though less vividly, by there same illusion” (89) Hawthorne uses grim and haunting diction to describe to the reader how devilish Pearls actions are. The diction the author uses also shows how the child hurts and tortures her mother. The words: “evil”, “spirit”, and “possessed” all create the feeling of discomfort and fear. Pearl is able to hurt her mother by emotionally wearing her out. Hawthorne also uses the words: “Peeped”, “mockery”, and “tortured” to create a seance of sarcasm in his writing. He is describing Pearl using teasing diction. By teasing her mother Pearl is able to hurt her and make fun of her. By toying with her mothers emotions Pearl can be a negative influence on her mother. This ties back to the idea that all things can be both beneficial and harmful. Hawthorn also painful diction to describe the painn that Pearl inflicts on Hester. In chapter 10 Pearl constantly hurts Hester with pain by nonchalantly reminding Hester of the scarlet letter and its true hideous meaning. Hawthorne describes Hester when she often gazed at her Pearl, “Gazing at Pearl, Hester Prynne ofter dropped her work upon her knees, and...
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