Pearl And Reverend Dimmesdale In Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter

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The relationship between Pearl and Reverend Dimmesdale in The Scarlet Letter is one that both intrigues the reader and keeps them wanting to find out more. At the beginning of the story nothing is very clear about Pearl’s father but as you read on there are many cues that lead you to Reverend Dimmesdale, the pastor of the church where Pearl’s mother, Hester Prynne, was a member. Through all the twists and turns there are a few things that stick out in the readers mind such as the progression of their relationship, the behavior and psychology of Pearl and how the novel could be seen as a story almost all about Pearl. The progression starts during the third chapter of the novel when Hester and her young child are on the scaffold to be publicly shamed for her adultery. When Dimmesdale is called upon to speak and try to urge Hester to reveal her fellow sinner Pearl is drawn to him and reaches out towards his voice. The reader is led to believe here that this stretch towards the Reverend is just due to his automatic appeal to anyone while he is speaking. …show more content…

Hester went to plead that the officials of the town leave Pearl in her care and not take her away to be raised by any one else. When it seems that Hester is losing this battle she asks Dimmesdale to speak in her defense which he does quite passionately. This desire to protect the mother and daughter bond of Hester and Pearl is what seems to draw Pearl to approach Dimmesdale and take “his hand in the grasp of both her own…” and lay “her cheek against it; a caress so tender…” (The Scarlet Letter, Chapter VIII) Dimmesdale’s defense and Pearl’s reaction are two cues that lead the reader to begin seeing the truth of who Pearl’s father

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