Symbolism of Pearl in the Scarlet Letter

Topics: Hester Prynne, The Scarlet Letter, John Winthrop Pages: 2 (745 words) Published: March 13, 2008
Pearl is a very intriguing character in The Scarlet Letter; she is Hester's and Dimmesdale's child and the embodiment of their sin. Pearl is used in contrast to puritan society and as human form of the scarlet letter.

Pearl is a great contrast to the strictness of puritan society; she is a very wild and disobedient child and this comes from being raised in the forest. She is raised in the forest instead of in town, and her distance from society is greatened because of the absence of people around her during childhood. This leads her to not know how to behave as an honorable member of the puritan society. The few times Hester took her into town it is very obvious that she is uncomfortable and unaware of how to behave. "But Pearl, who was a dauntless child, after frowning, stamping her foot, and shaking her little hand with a variety of threatening gestures, suddenly made a rush at the knot of her enemies, and put them all to flight. She resembled, in her fierce pursuit of them, and infant pestilence- the scarlet fever, or some such half-fledged angel of judgment- whose mission was to punish the sins of the rising generation. She screamed and shouted, too, with a terrific volume of sound which, doubtless, caused the hearts of the fugitives to quake within them." This exert of The Scarlet Letter shows how Pearl is unconcerned with the organized structure of the society. She does not know how to solve her problems in a civil way or to just let it go, she has quite a temper. Pearl was born from the sin Hester and Dimmesdale committed. Since she is a child made from sin, she doesn't have the innocence children are born with. This is how she knows that Dimmesdale is her Father, when you are innocent you are unaware of your surroundings and you are easily swayed to believe anything. And because Pearl was born without her innocence she is not blind to who her Father was. Pearl is especially mean to Dimmesdale because she knows he is her Father and she knows he is...
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