In the Scarlet Letter, Hester, for her sins, received
a scarlet "A" which she had to wear upon her chest. This was the Puritan way of treating her as a criminal, for the crime of adultery. The Puritan treatment continued, because as Hester would walk down the streets, she would be looked down upon as if she were a demon from Hell, and she would be called names. This would cause her much mental anguish and grief. On the other hand, God's way of punishing Hester for her sin was quite different from the physical token she wore: he gave her the punishment of a very unique child who she named Pearl. This punishment from God was a constant reminder to Hester of what she had done wrong, and she could not escape from her daughter as she did society. In this aspect, Pearl symbolized God's way of punishing Hester for adultery.
The way Hester's life was ruined for so long was the ultimate price that Hester paid for Pearl. With Pearl, Hester's life was one almost never filled with joy, but instead a constant nagging. Pearl would harass her mother over the scarlet "A" which she had to wear constantly. And, Pearl would also make her own "A" to wear, and sometimes played games with her mother's, trying to hit it with rocks, or decorating it with prickly burrs. When Hester would go into town with Pearl, the other children would make fun of her and Pearl would yell back and throw dirt at them, So, in this case, Pearl symbolized the decimation of Hester's social life and mental state.
Although Hester had so much trouble with Pearl, she still felt that Pearl was her treasure.... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(1999, 10). Symbolism of Peal in the Scarlet Letter. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 1999, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Symbolism-Peal-Scarlet-Letter-17815.html
"Symbolism of Peal in the Scarlet Letter" StudyMode.com. 10 1999. 10 1999 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Symbolism-Peal-Scarlet-Letter-17815.html>.
"Symbolism of Peal in the Scarlet Letter." StudyMode.com. 10, 1999. Accessed 10, 1999. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Symbolism-Peal-Scarlet-Letter-17815.html.