How can a gift from God be wrapped in sin? The distinction between good and evil was a prevalent topic in the early 19th century. Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of The Scarlet Letter, was fostered in an era in America in which transcendentalism challenged traditional Puritan and Calvinist views. He was raised in a strict Puritan family in Salem, Massachusetts, where people were burned, hanged, and drowned for being suspected of sin. He resented this way of life, and he moved away to follow the transcendent movement with Ralph Waldo Emerson. (Nathaniel Hawthorne - Biography) This discipline looked for the good in people, while Puritans believe all people are born in sin. Hawthorne was familiar with both beliefs, which allowed him to write about …show more content…
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. To validate this, Hester said: “God gave me this child! He gave her in requital of all things else, which ye had taken from me. She is my happiness!— she is my torture nonetheless! Pearl keeps me here in life! Pearl punishes me too!”, when the Governor attempted to remove Pearl from her custody. (Hawthorne, 75) This shows Hester’s devotion to the child, as well as it illustrates the good and evil within Pearl. To Hester, Pearl was the only good in the world. Pearl was the rosebush in the graveyard. Yet, she was Hester’s source of torture, and was an outcast to the rest of the town, being described as an “imp of evil”. (Hawthorne, 54) Was Pearl mainly a source of happiness or the origin of
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She loves her because she knows Pearl is hers; she knows God gave her Pearl for a reason. A sentence to prove this is, "God gave her the child, and gave her, too, an instinctive knowledge of its nature and requirements..." (Hawthorne 104). This quote restates the fact that God gave Pearl to Hester and Hester alone. It also says how only Hester knows how to control and teach Pearl.
Perhaps his anguish is greater because he knows how efficacious confession may be(274).” A revitalizing character, Pearl enlighted sin and devotion that existed between Hester and Reverend Dimmesdale. Pearl worked as an extension of Hester and Dimmesdale by linking the bodily and divine triangle; with this action Pearl, hence, provided salvation for Dimmesdale. According to Harold Bloom : “It is only at this point that Hawthorne makes clear the extremity of stakes involved in Pearl,s relationship to her father.
Hester professes, “God gave her into my keeping,” ... “I will not give her up!” She is still fighting so hard for Pearl; it just shows how she does not want everything that she has fought for to go to waste and end up losing her child in the process. In chapter 6 Pearl says, “He did not send me!” … “I have no Heavenly Father!”
Hester Prynne is a strong woman, able to withstand torment for several years without revealing her lover. She is also very intelligent and kindhearted. Pearl, the daughter of Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale, has a rebellious and trouble-making spirit along with a gift of perception, which she uses to provoke the
She is the result of Hester’s adultery and is, in her own way, a living embodiment of the letter. When Hester and Pearl are with Dimmsdale on the scaffold and for the three formed an electric chain, “there was witchcraft in little Pearl’s eyes, and her face, as she glanced upward at the minister, wore that naughty smile which made its expression frequently so elvish. She withdrew her hand from Mr. Dimmesdale’s and pointed across the street” (97). Since Pearl was conceived in sin, Hester worries that this may affect the type of child Pearl is. Hester’s neighbors can see only supernatural reasons for Pearl’s odd behavior: she’s an elf-child, a witch-child, or her father is the Black Man
The only person whom Hester can confide in is her own daughter, Pearl, but even Pearl finds ways to draw attention to her sin. Pearl is a double-edged sword in many ways because she is the one individual whom Hester can openly love, but when Pearl judges her mother it is much worse than the other Puritans. Pearl is not only a living symbol of her sin, but she also further embarrasses Hester and causes her to feel deep remorse. When Pearl recognizes her mother’s sin before any other basic part of Hester including her smile Hester is disturbed, “it were indeed a smile. By no means!
Hester committed this sin with her secret lover, Arthur Dimmesdale, Hester acknowledged her sin and took action for it, but Dimmesdale did not which allowed Hester to get stronger but Dimmesdale only became weakened by this sin. Hester Prynne’s persistent is very prominent when she stays loyal to her little daughter, Pearl. Pearl is the consequence of the great sin that is causing Hester problems, these complications are the death wishes and hate she is receiving. Governor Bellingham wishes to take little Pearl away, but Hester stays loyal to her family and pleads to keep her daughter, Hester says, “‘God gave me this child!’ cried she.
This child is not meant to be a realistic character but rather a symbol of Hester’s sin, blessing and scarlet letter. Pearl is the scarlet letter, a blessing and curse, and the love and passion of a dangerous relationship. More than a child Pearl is a symbol of the love and passion between Hester and the minister. Pearl is a symbol that connect her parents forever even if they couldn’t be together. The narrator says, “God, as a direct consequence of the sin which man thus punished, had given her a lovely child, whose place was on that same dishonoured bosom, to connect her parent forever with the race and descent of mortals, and to be finally a blessed soul in heaven!”(86)
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.
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.
First, Hester had just been released from jail. When she was released from jail she has the scarlet letter on her chest and she is holding a baby. Hawthorne says, “She bore in her arms a child, a baby of some three months old, who winked and turned aside its little face from the too vivid light of day; because its existence, heretofore, had brought it acquainted only with the gray twilight of a dungeon, or other darksome apartment of the prison” (50). When Hester came out of prison Pearl faced away from the sun because she had just been living in a dark prison for her whole life. Pearls very existence represents truth.
Puritans felt redemption could not be achieved because the sins were so wrong and so evil. Hawthorne used redemption to help develop the characters and the ideas the reader had on them. The whole book happened because of a sin that occurred, and that sin was the cause of many actions of the characters. Throughout “The Scarlet Letter,” Hawthorne
Hester never took her anger or frustration out on Pearl, and that took great patience from Hester. Pearl was the one who brought curiosity and happiness into Hester’s life. Undeniably, Hester truly loved Pearl, there was no doubt about that. Hester did not want Pearl to make the same mistake when she got older and Hester just wanted the absolute best for Pearl. Pearl was a strange child and Hester thought that was because of the sin she committed, but in all honesty, Pearl just looked at things in different perspective.
Her defiance becomes stronger and will carry her through different hardships. Her determination and lonely stand repeats again when she confronts Governor Bellingham over the issue of Pearl’s guardianship. When Bellingham wants to take Pearl away from Hester, Hester reply’s with, “God gave me the child! I will die first!”(Ch.). When also pressured even more for the child’s care, Hester pleads, “God gave her into my keeping.
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.