Theme Of Good And Evil In The Scarlet Letter

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Everyone is born with original sin: those that were inherited by the transgressions of Adam and Eve. Eve disobeys God, biting eagerly into the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden. After this, she forever taints and corrupts the rest of the world with her sin. This would then become a consistent theme throughout literature as humans are depicted as being inclined to evil; to disobey rather than to act in a Godly fashion. Although this is a despairing and futile way to view society, it perhaps is justified and portrayed by Hester Prynne and Reverend Dimmesdale in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Scarlet Letter. The product of Hester and Dimmesdale’s adulterous actions is Pearl, and while at the beginning of…show more content…
Originally being depicted as a symbol for evil and a representation for Hester and Dimmesdale 's sin, Hawthorne utilizes Pearl as a symbol to mirror the manner in which both Dimmesdale and Hester react and handle their transgressions. The onset of Pearl’s accusations of being “evil” commence in Governor Bellingham’s mansion with John Wilson and Reverend Dimmesdale. Pearl’s allegations originate from Mr. Wilson, whom interrogating Pearl inquires, “art thou a Christian child, --ha? Or art thou one of those naughty elves or fairies?” (Hawthorne 113). As Pearl is a symbol for Dimmesdale and Hester, this claim of her being “naughty” indicates a comparison to the indecent and inappropriate sin that both Dimmesdale and Hester acted upon. Pearl is insulted and judged as being a “naughty elf” and not being a “Christian child” and coincidently as the offspring of Hester, it is clear that their Puritan society believes Hester’s immoral past has rubbed off on Pearl causing her to be a “naughty” child. Hawthorne, however, is proving indirectly through the symbolism of Pearl that she is behaving in such a way to illustrate the manner in which Hester, in this case, is handling her
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