Pearl Character Analysis

Topics: The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne, Nathaniel Hawthorne Pages: 1 (262 words) Published: August 28, 2013
Pearl: In the Scarlet Letter, Pearl is the illegitimate daughter of Hester Prynne and Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. Her name is Pearl because of her great value to her mother, Hester. Pearl is more of a symbol than anything else. She is a symbol because she represents Hester and Dimmesdale’s sin and adultery. She also symbolizes the scarlet letter A. Pearl is a constant reminder of the Scarlet letter of not just Hester, but of Dimmesdale, as well: “And, mother, he has his hand over his heart! Is it because, when the minister wrote his name in the book, the Black Man set his mark in that place? But why does he not wear it outside his bosom, as thou dost, mother” (198). Pearl is a flat character because she stays the same throughout the novel, even until the end when she marries a nobleman. Pearl is also a complex character because she constantly changes throughout the novel. She is a dynamic character because she changes due to the events that take place and the environment she is in. Pearl’s external conflict is the reminder to Hester and Reverend Dimmesdale of the sin they committed. Pearl’s function in the plot is that of a symbol. She is a constant reminder of the scarlet letter A and is the embodiment of the letter as well. An example of this is presented by the narrator when he describes how Pearl is an embodiment of the scarlet letter: “it was The Scarlet Letter in another form; The Scarlet Letter endowed with life!” (102). (258 words)
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