Scarlet Letter

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"Mother," said little Pearl, "the sunshine does not love you. It runs away and hides itself, because it is afraid of something on your bosom. . . . It will not flee from me, for I wear nothing on my bosom yet!" "Nor ever will, my child, I hope," said Hester. "And why not, mother?" asked Pearl, stopping short. . . . "Will it not come of its own accord, when I am a woman grown?" (Pg 141)

What theme regarding human nature does Pearl portray through this conversion with her mother?

Pearl's unique character often times has the ability of recognizing truths that no one else can. Impressively, she directly connects the scarlet letter on her mother's bosom and the sun's failure to shine on her to the absence of sunlight in her life, through her sin of adultery. Though Pearl's symbolic nature allows her to identify these truths, her position as just a child prevents her from understanding the intricacy that these truths hold. Pearl sees her mother as an example of what every adult is characteristic of. In this sense, Pearly believes that all grown women wear this scarlet letter of an equivalent of it. So how can this be evident if Pearl also notices that it is only her mother who bears the scarlet "A"? Well, Pearl's question about Hester's representation of all adults offers the fact that all human beings fall prone to sin. A scarlet "A" does not need to be embedded in an individual's clothing to recognize human fault. This is just a way to try and hide one's own fault and focus the "light" on someone else. And here, Pearl hints at the idea that soon, she too will bear the weight of sin because of its inevitibility. Pearl, as the symbol of innocence, does not yet bear the burden of a defining sin. However, in the future it will be inescapable because of its presence in human nature, beginning in the garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. Pearl acknowledges her humanness, and her ultimate separation from the divine. As too, do Hester and Dimmesdale, who are...
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