Juxtaposition In The Scarlet Letter

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Throughout the passage from The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne uses Hester’s baby, Pearl, to illuminate the theme of beauty in a dark place. Once released from prison, Hester, an adulterer, becomes a public spectacle. Through this hard time, Hester has her daughter Pearl to soothe her and to bring her strength and hope for a better future. By using vivid imagery and juxtaposition, Hawthorne depicts Pearl as Hester’s happiness, light, and beauty during a sad and lonely time. While in Prison, Hester is all alone and depressed. Her only form of comfort is her daughter, Pearl. Once free from jail, Hester and Pearl move into a dark and isolated cabin. Pearl brings light into the “darksome cottage” through her “radiance” and “splendor of [her] proper beauty”. The use of juxtaposition to contrast Pearl’s grace to the cottage’s depressing nature expresses Pearl’s presence as happy and bright, giving Hester the strength to continue living with optimism for a better future. Although Hester is depressed and living in a gloomy cabin, her daughter brings happiness and hope into her life. …show more content…

Hester’s lack of money does not hold her back from providing Pearl with everything she needs. Pearl is dressed in the “richest tissue”, made others see her as “just perfect...an infant princess”. Though only three months old, Pearl evokes the image of beauty from her mother and from strangers who see her. Even though Hester’s life is not ideal, her child brings her beauty in the darkness of her life. Hester wears clothing of poor quality, in order to provide the best for her daughter. Pearl’s happiness allows hester to be content with her life, and have hope for a better life. Her daughter’s happiness and beauty brings Hester happiness, which is greatly needed in Hester’s life. By using vivid imagery, Hawthorne conveys Pearl as a child of unwavering beauty and

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