Symbolism in the Scarlet Lette

Topics: Hester Prynne, The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne Pages: 2 (666 words) Published: October 8, 1999
The Scarlet Letter is a book of much symbolism. One of the most complex and misunderstood symbols in the book is Pearl, the daughter of Hester Prynne. Pearl symbolizes a real and constant reminder of Hester’s sins, she is much more prominent and evident than the “A” that Hester wore, for she is a real living breathing person who will always remain a part Hester. Hawthorne places Pearl in the novel to explore the theme of Romanticism, to create a character who is passionate and true, one who questions the behavior and values of Hester and Dimmesdale. Pearl’s behavior towards her mother varied at different times. She would often constantly nag her mother and became infatuated with the scarlet "A" which her mother wore. She is anything but a normal Puritan child, and Hawthorne creates her character very interestingly. “The child could not be made amenable to rules. In giving her existence, a great law had been broken.....” (91)Pearl was so very aware of this “A” even if she did not fully understand the meaning of it at her young age. Although, she did have a sense of what this letter meant, and would also make her own to wear. “Mother, the sunshine does not love you. It runs away and hides itself, because it is afraid of something on your bosom. Now see! There it is, playing, a good way off. Stand you here, and let me run and catch it. I am but a child. It will not flee from me, for I wear nothing on my bosom yet” (192). This symbolizes Pearl’s constant curiousity and truth, and her knowing that the letter her mother must wear retricts her from being ‘loved by the sun’, in other words, Hester must remain in the dark about her feelings, while Pearl can stay in the sun. Again another example of Pearl’s free emotion, a symbolism of the Romanticism in the novel. Although Hester had so much trouble with Pearl, she still felt that Pearl was her treasure. Being alienated from society...
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