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Innocence In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

Decent Essays
Through Pearl, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne explores innocence as well as naivety in the mind of a young child. These qualities, along with the idea that all children are born free of sin, allow Pearl to escape the meaning of the Scarlet Letter that has turned her family upside down. The Scarlet Letter serves as a reminder of the sin that Hester commits by having a child out of wedlock. When Hester becomes pregnant and is forced to wear the Scarlet Letter, her community looks down upon her and wrongfully places the impurity of her actions onto her unborn child. Despite what people in the town think of Pearl, Hester views Pearl as a treasure, naming her ‘Pearl’ after something of opulence. In order to not taint this view, Hester tries as hard as she can to shield Pearl from the punishment of the letter telling her that she simply likes the gold trim on it and lying about its negative connotation. Instead of a curse, Pearl is a blessing in disguise and a gift from God, described as “a lovely and immortal flower, out of the rank luxuriance of a guilty passion” (74).
Although Hester is the only one forced to wear the letter, it affects each one of her
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People were burdened with titles and isolated from the community without having the opportunity to plead their cases or attempt to clear their names. In order to overcome the harsh criticism that came with the times, people had to be like Pearl and prevail over the hate they received. For Pearl, sticking to her true identity and refusing to let people’s predetermined negative mindsets control her worked in her favor. By the end of The Scarlet Letter, when Chillingworth, Hester and Dimmesdale have all died, Pearl finds love and becomes the richest woman in New England after obtaining Chillingworth’s inheritance. If nothing else, Pearl bests those who doubted her in terms of wealth and
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