Scarlet Letter, Pearl

Topics: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne Pages: 2 (767 words) Published: April 11, 2005
The Scarlet letter is a novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The plot focuses on sin in the Puritan society. Hester Prynne, the protagonist, has an affair with Reverend Dimmesdale, which means they are adulterers and sinners. As a result, Pearl is born and Hester is forced to where the scarlet letter. Pearl is a unique character. She is Hester's human form of her scarlet letter, which constantly reminds her of her sin, yet at the same time, Pearl is a blessing to have since she represents the passion that Hester once had.

Pearl is Hester's human form of her scarlet letter; both she and the scarlet letter constantly remind Hester of her sin of adultery. Pearl is the result of Hester's adultery; therefore she has a strong connection with the scarlet letter. As a young girl, Pearl had always had a fascination and obsession with her mother's scarlet letter. For example "In the forest scene when Hester takes off the Scarlet letter, Pearl becomes frantically disturbed and won't quiet down until Hester has it back on her dress, as if by discarding the letter Hester has discarded Pearl," (Johnson: A Literary Analysis of The Scarlet Letter, pg.1). The scarlet letter is a part of Hester, as is Pearl, if Hester removes the letter, she also disowns Pearl. The only way Pearl recognize her mother is when she has the letter on. Hester dresses Pearl in red so she can represent her scarlet letter. In the chapter, "The Governor's Hall," Pearl was described; "The child's whole appearance reminded the beholder of the token which Hester Prynne was doomed to wear upon her bosom. It was the scarlet letter in another form; the scarlet letter endowed with life!" (The Scarlet Letter, pg. 103 Johnson: Understanding The Scarlet Letter pg.1).

Although Pearl is looked at as the result of Hester's sin, she is a blessing to her mother as well. Her name, "Pearl," is fitting because of what she means to Hester. For instance "Hester names her"Pearl" because she has come to great price, and...
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