Hypocrisy In The Scarlet Letter

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The novel scarlet letter was written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. He wanted to expose the immorality that was committed by two parents of a daughter called Pearl. Nathaniel's novel explores the hypocrisy in puritan societies. The novel tells a story of Hester Prynne and her daughter. Hester having committed adultery and tries all what she can so as to ensure that she live of repentance and dignity. In the Scarlet letter, the influence and characteristics of Pearl, Hester Prynne daughter is used to convey the theme of sin and hypocrisy in the novel. Hawthorne uses pearl to draw a parallel between forgiveness and punishment
From the beginning of her life she is viewed as, a product of sin. The puritans shunned her, their treatments affected Pearl
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We are told that even when she was a baby she was attracted to the scarlet letter. “ As an infant, Pearl grasped at the letter. As a child, Pearl wild flowers at the letter.”(Hawthorne 61). It is also important to note that the “A” is the only way that the colonists choose to crime and punishment to the criminals in the society. She symbolizes evil in the sense that she is born through sin and therefore she represents the punishment that God inflicts on Hester's adulterous act. Pearl also symbolizes the guilt that her parents are experiencing. She defies the puritans' law by being cheerful when she is associating with nature instead of suffering. Another way in which pearl symbolizes punishment is the fact that she keeps pestering and bothering her mother. “‘Hold thy peace, dear little Pearl!’ whispered her mother. ‘We must not always talk in the marketplace of what happens to us in the forest.’”(Hawthorne 231). One may get the feeling that she is a witch baby send out to torment her mother. In many cases babies is a joy to their mothers but in Pearl's case she was just the opposite and in this the author clearly and effectively used symbolism in pearls case to symbolize punishment and suffering. In addition Hawthorne uses pearls name to draw attention to hypocrisy. “ Of great price purchased with all she had - her mother's only treasure!”(79). Pearls name is symbolic of the price Hester…show more content…
After all, she represents the scarlet letter: wild, passionate, and completely oblivious to the rules, mores, and legal statutes of the time. “But again Hawthorne, by connecting the above moral platitude and by portraying the elf child not as treacly little paragon- like little Eva- but rather as a goad as much as a comfort to her mother elevates the emotional tone of the situation so that it is hardly recognizable.”(William 3). Pearls had a individualistic passionate innocence. Hawthorne presents hypocrisy with forgiveness. Peal does not see her mother as a sinner because she has been isolated by puritan society and as a result does not have the same beliefs. Pearl is the illegitimate child the symbol of her parent sin, but she is also a regenerative force.”(Kate 11) So long as Dimmesdale is alive, Pearl seems to be a magnet that attracts Hester and Dimmesdale, almost demanding their reconciliation or some sort of energetic reconciliation. “ Not a pure materateralism however, but one embellished by her guilt at the child’s disordered nature and for this living result of the act of love.”(Lasser 275) Pearl and Hester are not materialistic When Dimmesdale dies, Pearl seems to lose her vigor and becomes a normal girl, able to marry and assimilate into society. The implication is thus that Pearl truly was a child of lust or love, a product of activity outside the boundaries imposed by strict Puritan
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