Symbolism Of Pearl In Scarlet Letter

744 Words3 Pages

It is quite obvious in Nathaniel Hawthorne 's The Scarlet Letter that Pearl, Hester Prynne 's daughter, plays a major role. Not only is she one of the main characters, but she is prevalent theme in the novel, as well. Pearl is not written like a regular character. Most of the other symbols in the story, such as the scarlet letter or the rose bush, lead back to Pearl. Pearl takes on many symbols and serves great purpose. In The Scarlet Letter is merely a symbol in the story, her function is to remind Hester of her sin which affects her role in the story to become more antagonistic to Hester. Pearl is a character, yes, but in the novel, she is mostly a symbol. The way Hawthorne writes her, she is not like a regular person, and she 's not …show more content…

The fact that Pearl is a symbol with the one soul purpose of reminding her mother of her biggest mistake, Pearl can be seen as an antagonist to Hester. Although Pearl is the only character in the novel who is truly innocent, she is quite an annoyance to her mother. Pearl is a sort of antagonist-protagonist. Not exactly an anti-hero, but close enough. Her mother fears her at some points. 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. This role of her being an antagonistic protagonist creates a paradox within the already complex and unusual child. The symbol of Pearl plays an important part in the novel The Scarlet Letter. She is a reminder of her mother 's sin and antagonist toward Hester, as well. She is the root of many other symbols in the book. She is both a main character and a major symbol. One of could even argue that Pearl is the main character, and not Hester, due to how important she is to plot. Pearl is the biggest symbol in the novel, being that she truly is the

Open Document