While reading The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, it is obvious that he uses a lot of symbolism throughout his writing to give the readers a deeper understanding of the Puritans and their views in these times. In this book, the community forces Hester Prynne to wear a scarlet letter on her chest to show her abashment for committing adultery and having a child, Pearl. However, Pearl is actually used as a symbol throughout this book to represent the physical embodiment of Hester’s sin, the repercussions of her breaking the law, and an unworldly being in the usual strict Puritan society. In the beginning of the book, Hawthorne uses Pearl as a way to constantly remind Hester of her sin and as a link between the secret relationship of Hester …show more content…
Hawthorne states, “...Hester could not help questioning at such moments whether Pearl was a human child. She seemed rather an airy sprite…” (Hawthorne 52). Even though some people see Pearl as a child of the devil, she is actually just a little kid whose mother’s actions reflected badly on her life and made people’s views of her distorted. Pearl’s estranged behavior is believed to be a result of the way she was conceived through sin, which is just another example of how Pearl is the physical representation and constant reminder of Hester’s sin. Towards the end of the book, Pearl is finally allowed to be a real human being once Dimmesdale confesses his sin. In Chapter 23, Hawthorne writes, “The great scene of grief, in which the wild infant bore a part had developed all her sympathies; and as her tears fell upon her father’s cheek, they were the pledge that she would grow up amid human joy…” (Hawthorne 142). Pearl, in this scene, is symbolizing Hester Prynne’s sin being redeemed. Only once Dimmesdale tells everyone that he is the father, Pearl can become a real person and feel human emotions because Hester has no need anymore to be reminded of her
She is the result of the sin that was committed by Hester and Dimmesdale. Throughout the story Pearl asks difficult questions to her mother. She also has a slight obsession with her mothers embroidered A on her clothes. Pearl acts as a constant reminder that she can never escape her sin as someone who has committed adultery. However, Hester loves her daughter so much.
While Reverend Dimmesdale blocked out the world around him, “the spiritual element took up the feeble frame and carried it along, unconscious of the burden” (Hawthorne, 144). Hawthorne uses irony to describe the huge burden that Dimmesdale had to carry since he did not admit to being the father of Pearl. Though he often put his hand over his heart no “imagination would have been irrelevant enough to surmise that the same scorching stigma was on both of them?” (Hawthorne, 149). While it is ironic that Hester and Dimmesdale bear the same physical mark- the scarlet ‘A’, the truth is revealed that the mysterious lover and father of little Pearl is Reverend Dimmesdale himself.
Pearl is the living embodiment of of the scarlet letter. Pearl constantly reminds Hester of her sins, without meaning to. Whenever she asks questions about Dimmesdale or about the scarlet letter, Hester is reminded of the things she did wrong. Pearl is very smart child, and she likes to ask questions and learn about things. If she sees something that confuses her, she will ask her mother about it.
The reason for this is that she is the character that helps and guides the reader to really know what is happening in the story. There are some hidden meanings in the book and she also helps the reader to pick up these points so that they can really understand what the book is talking about. She aids the reader with her commentaries, her thought process, and her inquisitive questions that she asks throughout the novel We can say that Pearl is an indispensable character to the reader that helps him to understand the themes that are being put forward by the author. One has to notice the way Pearl is different from the other children of her own age. She did not make any friends in the society.
In the Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Pearl starts of as a secondary character as the novel progresses Pearl becomes significant to many of the key events of the story. Some examples of this are the scene in the scaffold at night, when Hester meets Dimmsdale in the woods, and when she makes the connection about the letter in her mother's bosom and the reason why the minister holds his hand on his chest. Pearl is a very intuitive, smart, wild and clever child; and at her young age is impressive how this child knows who to trust. She is acts as Hester's conscience as the novel progresses in many ways. Pearl is a very intuitive character making her more interesting.
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.
Also in the scene, one could say that Pearl represents the Scarlet letter in the way that like the bird that “illuminates a whole tree of dusty foliage,” the scarlet letter also stands out in the town. Pearl represents the scarlet letter because she is the outcome of Hester's sin. The Scarlet
This interaction between infant Pearl and Dimmesdale is significant because Pearl is described as a child who only shows affection towards her family (Hester). As Pearl ages, many Puritans conspire to separate her from her mother. Upon hearing this, Hester visits the governor’s hall to try and persuade him to allow Pearl to remain with her. Hester is ultimately allowed to keep Pearl, not because of her words, but because of the words spoken by Dimmesdale, who convinces Governor Bellingham and Reverend John Wilson. Afterwards, Pearl “stole softly towards him, and, taking his hand in the grasp of both her own, laid her cheek against it” (79).
When describing Pearl, Hawthorne says that Pearl was the result of Hester’s passionate state, and that this passion was transmitted to Pearl during birth.(Hawthorne, 54) This explains Pearl’s behavior and her characterization as a wild child. Pearl was also born from a relationship of true love. It is evident throughout the story that Hester would rather live her life with Dimmesdale, rather than Chillingsworth. The offspring of pure passion and an efficacious relationship overshadows the sin involved.
Pearl is a symbol of the scarlet letter. She was born due to adultery, which is the same reason as to why Hester wears the scarlet letter A. In chapter 7, Pearl is coincidentally put into a red tunic, “...arraying her in a crimson velvet tunic … and flourishes of gold-thread” (Hawthorne 92), which makes Hester realize that she is the human version of the scarlet letter. By Hester realizing this, it shows to the reader that Pearl can be a “sin” and a “blessing” all at the same time.
Throughout the novel Pearl’s characteristics refine diversely due to the fact that she acts on her observations. First off, the reference of Pearl as a rose among thorns helps to symbolize that through a terrible sin something beautiful is able to blossom from it. Accordingly Pearl’s phase of embodying a demon offspring is a reflection of Hester’s sin upon the child as she observes the scarlet letter. Likewise her observations of symbolism demonstrate her ability to vary upon the observations made. For this reason “such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning” without the ability to originate and develop over
This was the first part in the book when Dimmesdale went on the scaffold with Hester and Pearl. When all three of them were on the scaffold Pearl was described as “Pearl she a symbol, and the connecting link between the two”(139). When they were on the scaffold pearl connected Hester and Dimmesdale. As soon as Pearl held hands with both of them she felt as if she was no longer a product of sin because of Hester and Dimemsdasles actions. When the townspeople saw this they thought that Pearl was a magical human that brought together two people in a tough time.
She was an outcast to society and would never be accepted because she was considered the child of sin. Hawthorne says, “...whose place was on that same dishonored bosom,...” (Ch 6, 77), this shows that not only is the scarlet letter symbolic to the adultery, but Pearl is also a lasting symbol of Hester’s sin. Chapter 6, Pearl, is entirely dedicated to the child and it is in this chapter the Pearl states, “ “He did not send me!” cried she positively.
Right from the start, Hester knew that Pearl was going to be different from the other kids because she was born a sin. Pearl acted differently from the normal kids, which may be because she wasn’t around other kids to see how they acted and learn from them. “The truth seems to be, however, that the mother- forest, and these wild things which it nourished, all recognized a kindred wildness in the human child” (Hawthorne 140). Pearl was connected more with the forest than she was with people. She spent more time in the forest, playing with flowers and moss, and she didn’t play with other kids because they didn’t want to be around her.
As stated in chapter six, "Her [Hester] only real comfort was when the child lay in the placidity of sleep. Then she was sure of her, and tasted hours of quiet, sad, delicious happiness; until—perhaps with that perverse expression glimmering from beneath her opening lids—little Pearl awoke!" (Hawthorne X) Pearl is Hester 's greatest treasure, but she cost Hester everything. Because of Pearl, Hester has no chance at a happy life, but Pearl brings her happiness. Pearl is almost like a paradox.