In The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the character Pearl is not only a major character, but also a constant symbol of redemption. She is the punishment for Dimmesdale and Hester’s sin as well as their path to salvation. Most importantly, however, Pearl is the scarlet letter itself. Pearl’s behavior and influence establish her role as a key symbol and a means to the evolution of the other characters.
Hester Prynne, the main character of the book "The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, commits adultery, is considered a hussy, and has a child as the result of her sin. She cheats on her husband while he is absent from town and receives a harsh punishment for her behavior already. Hester is forced to wear a scarlet letter “A” on her bosom for the rest of her life. It is now on debate on whether or not Pearl should be taken away from her mother’s guidance. This is due to the fact that she is a sinner and might not be a qualified mother for her child.It is true, that no matter what you did in the past, a child is a blessing and parents change due to the love they have for their children. Therefore, Hester
In Nathaniel Hawthorne's work, The Scarlet Letter, nature plays a very symbolic role. Throughout the book, nature is incorporated into the story line. One example of this is with the character of Pearl. Pearl is very different than all the other characters due to her special relationship with Nature. Hawthorne personifies Nature as sympathetic towards sins against the puritan way of life. Hester's sin causes Nature to accept Pearl.
In the novel, The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne characterizes Pearl with contrasting personalities and roles she plays in Hester’s life. Pearl’s conflicting personality components, innocence and defiance, both derive from her isolation from society, which transpired because of her mother’s sin. Pearl represents the conflict between everything good and dark, which reflects in the role she plays in Hester’s life, as the physical embodiment of the A. While Pearl serves as a savior to Hester, representing possible redemption, she is also Hester’s tormentor, a constant reminder of her sin, and the consequences of disobeying her Puritan nature and religion. Hawthorne’s intent is established in the novel through Pearl’s attachment to the A, the mirror
Pearl’s Name: In the beginning of chapter 5 it says that Pearl got her name because she was “ of great price-purchased with all she had,-her mother’s greatest treasure.” Her name is symbolic of the price that Hester payed for Pearl to enter the world. She sacrificed everything, her life, reputation, and any real chance at happiness.
Nelson Mandela once said, “There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.” In most cases, it is difficult to distinguish and fully understand when you have changed. Whether it be a trivial change in habit to a crucial character transformation, it is best to set oneself up against an untouched canvas, and begin to analyze the newfangled person from there. Throughout Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter, the concept of identifying one’s changes is apparent in two of the main characters, Pearl and Dimmesdale. Both characters experience their own engenderment of maturity and personal growth, though Dimmesdale’s involvement with it is much more deleterious in comparison to Pearl’s.
““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.” (Hawthorne 145) This, is a misleading description that Nathaniel Hawthorne depicts of Pearl, the daughter of Hester Prynne, in his classic novel The Scarlet Letter. Pearl is the living product of sin for her mother. Born out of wedlock, Pearl is a unique child that tends to be very moody and unpredictable. However, Pearl, at such a young age, demonstrates outstanding knowledge and exhibits curiosity to her mother’s scarlet letter, and the hypocrisy of Puritan society. Although Pearl portrays devilish characteristics and performs mischievous behaviour, she
“But she named the infant ‘Pearl’, as being of great price, --purchased with all she had, --her mother’s only treasure!” (73). In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hawthorne utilizes characters’ names to reveal a deeper meaning within a character or the plot. For example, Pearl’s name reflects many of her attributes throughout the novel. Pearl is beautiful, rare, and worth a great price. Through Pearl’s actions and words, the reader can clearly see the close resemblance between the meaning of her name and her personality. Pearl not only symbolizes beauty and grace, but she is also adultery, pain, and truth. As the plot advances Pearl’s name becomes more evident in its truth. For example, Pearl resembles a great price and expense to her mother. On the other hand, she is valuable since she is the most valuable person to Hester. Hawthorne chose her name as Pearl to reveal a deeper meaning of physical beauty, inner value, and universal truth.
In The Scarlet Letter, Pearl is often regarded as a symbol to that of the suffering of Hester Prynne and the shamed Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale but Pearls significance is more than just symbolizing the sin committed by her parents. She in many ways represents the innocence that the puritan belief is regressing itself to have. Hawthorne constructs Pearl as an evolving symbol for Hester and Dimmsdale and her progression as a character is shown through that of the actions set forth by these characters. Since the inception of the act of adultery by Hester and Dimmesdale, Pearl is developed by sin but she is not conformed to sin and as a result symbolizing a release of sin. She is essentially the road from childhood to adulthood, innocence to innocence lost to finally understanding and accepting the card that we are all delved with and that’s life after sin.
“Imagination is the key ingredient to overcoming fear and doubt.” Throughout “The Scarlet Letter”, Nathaniel Hawthorne tends to emphasize the intensity of Pearl’s imagination by describing the way Pearl saw the world around her and by talking about the way the people who noticed her vivid imagination, referred to her as a “witch-child”. In “The Scarlet Letter”, Pearl grows up secluded from the rest of the children in the New World. She learns to entertain herself and keep herself company by using her imagination. This is one big example of Pearl overcoming the hardships that she grew up with. As the book progresses, and as Pearl gets older, we see her overcome more hardships she is challenged with to create a strong, independent young girl. The poem provided written by Emily Dickinson comes to show how overcoming Pearl’s hardships led her to blossom from a strong, independent young girl, into an even stronger, successful woman.
This, as Arthur Dimmesdale almost prophetically expresses in the early scenes of Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, was the role of Pearl, the elfish child borne of his and Hester Prynne's guilty passion. Like Paul's thorn in the flesh, Pearl would bring trouble, heartache, and frustration to Hester, but serve a constructive
In the novel, “The Scarlet Letter”, a woman named Hester Prynne commits a sin. She commits the sin of adultery which results in the birth of her daughter Pearl. Hester now has to wear a scarlet letter on her chest for the rest of her life. Unbeknownst to everyone else except Hester, Dimmesdale, is the father of Pearl. Hester’s husband, Roger Chillingworth, now seeks revenge for what Hester has done to him. He learns that Dimmesdale is the father but tells no one because he wants to have something over Dimmesdale. Dimmesdale reveals his sin to the public of Boston and dies. Pearl and Hester leave to make a life for themselves.
The people of Boston see Pearl as a work of the devil because she is the result of a sin. She constantly asks her mother why she has it and where she came from. Once she denies the Heavenly Father the church wants her to be put in a better family. She often questions Dimmesdale and puts her own pieces together of who he is and his relationship to her family. When she asks Dimmesdale to stand beside her on the scaffold with her mother he rejects it showing his failure to admit adultery. Along with the scarlet letter she is a physical reminder of Hester Prynne’s sin and this is how her sin was revealed. She is evidence of her misdemeanor and reminds Hester of her mistake every day. Hester is sometimes scared by Pearl because she sees a demon in her eyes and is different than other kids. Although Pearl was the consequence of her actions she is also looked at as a blessing. She gives Hester a reason to live and is also one of the reasons she gets to keep her when the Church is deciding whether she should be put in the hands of more honorable parents. Chillingworth also uses her to find any clues as to who her father would be because of any resemblance. In The Scarlet Letter she is more of a physical representation of her mother’s sin than an actually
Hester Prynne, the mother to Pearl Prynne, heard townspeople speak about her custody of her child. Pearl represents Hester’s sin of adultery, community people think the sin is shone through her. Townspeople believe two theories about the child. One theory, Pearl “was of demon origin” because she resulted from adultery. The people believe that if Pearl was taken away from Hester and was introduced to a christian family, Hester would be better off. If it were true then Hester’s soul would feel relief. The other theory about Pearl was that she was “capable of moral and religious growth and possessed elements of salvation” then she would be given a guardian
Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale are the two main characters in the novel the scarlet letter. As parents to Pearl, the daughter out of adultery, these two go through the journey of shunning and hatred, but not together. Their stories are very different, and yet, so very similar.