Scarlet Letter- Pearl Character Analysis

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Olivia Stephens
Ms. Adelman
8th hour
October 18, 2010

A Mother’s Only Treasure
Pearl is a major character in the novel because she impacts everyone’s decisions in the book in some way. Though she is young throughout most of the novel, she acts older than most of the adults. With being the product of a sin, Pearl has to deal with a lot. She defends herself and her mother from the cruel remarks of the town. Nathaniel Hawthorne uses the character, Pearl, as a symbol for a hint of happiness in the sadness and regret of a sin.

Pearl, throughout the novel, is used as a main character and a symbol. Her presence in the book brings out the other main characters’ true character. She asks them questions they have to think hard about themselves. Pearl draws attention to their faults, such as what they are overlooking in their lives. She is portrayed as wiser than her years. The author wants her to seem more honest and more understanding than the adults in the novel.

After Hester gets out of jail, Pearl is the only thing she has. “She named the infant "Pearl," as being of great price- purchased with all she had- her mother's only treasure!” (Hawthorne, 61) Her name means that she came at a “great price” to Hester, and she is all her mother has. Pearl is a victim of Hester sins. She has to deal with children and adults harassing her. Pearl is constantly referred to as a devil child in the book. Pearl is a living thing symbolizing the scarlet letter.

Pearl is very perceptive to things around her. "Children will not abide any, the slightest, change in the accustomed aspect of things that are daily before their eyes. Pearl misses something that she has always seen me wear!" (Hawthorne, 144) Her mother decides to take her letter off, and Pearl notices. She was so used to seeing her mother with the letter, so she throws a temper tantrum. Pearl observes many things, like the way people act around her.

In The Scarlet Letter, the author uses Pearl, as a symbol...
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