The Scarlet Letter: Passage Explication

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Honors American Lit. B Kathryn Durga
The Scarlet Letter: The Child at Brook-side3/22/13

In this passage Dimmesdale is speaking about Pearl standing on the other side of the stream refusing to go to him and Hester. The contrast between Pearl standing on the opposite side as them parallels the contrast in their lives. Hester, now not wearing the scarlet letter, and Dimmesdale are concealing their relationship and their sin in the forest, representing a world of secrecy. Pearl, however, is representing a world of truth by refusing to join them until Hester once again wears the ‘A’, which throughout the book has been Hester’s truth. The two separate worlds that they’re a part of cannot come together until they change; Dimmesdale wants Pearl to be the one to change by joining them in their new plan to escape to Europe and by joining them in their lie. Pearl however refuses to be with them until they join her in her truth. This is exemplified by Pearl not going to her mother until she wears the ‘A’ and by Pearl rejecting Dimmesdale. Pearl washes off Dimmesdale’s kiss after he once again refuses to hold their hands in public, showing yet again how much she rejects dishonesty. Dimmesdale refers to Pearl as an elf which is defined as, “one of a class of preternatural beings, especially from mountainous regions, with magical powers, given to capricious and often mischievous interference in human affairs, and usually imagined to be a diminutive being in human form”. This parallels to Pearl’s character very well because she is very capricious, her mood often changes very quickly and she can be really unpredictable also throughout the book she seems to be meddling in the affairs of Dimmesdale and Hester by not allowing them to live in secrecy. When Dimmesdale says Hester can never meet Pearl again it shows a strong divide between Hester and Pearl as Pearl is still very innocent and pure while her mother is conveyed as a sinner, similar to the way...
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