Pearl In The Scarlett Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

Decent Essays
Hester Prynne’s daughter Pearl is one of the most complex characters observed in The Scarlet Letter. The fact that such a small child can have such a huge impact on the adults in the story can be thought of as ironic and thought provoking. Pearl goes against all of the odds that the community has set for her. Everyone assumes that Pearl is a “demon child” because she was born as a result of the sin of lust, and she does at times demonstrate signs of being peculiar. “But Pearl, who was a dauntless child, after frowning, stamping her foot, and shaking her little hand with a variety of threatening gestures, suddenly made a rush at the knot of her enemies, and put them all to flight.”(88). The reader is shocked when we see that she ends up with…show more content…
Pearl’s characteristics cause her to become paranoid about her possibly having demon or witch-like traits passed to her from her sin. “The child could not be made amenable to rules.”(77). This is the first time Pearl’s oddities are introduced to the audience. Hawthorne is foreshadowing her up and coming childhood filled with strange actions and keen observations. Even as an infant, Pearl seems to be aware of her mother’s sin. “But that first object of which Pearl seemed to become aware was-shall we say it?-the scarlet letter on Hester’s bosom!”(82). Since the scarlet letter is what she was first aware of, it could be said that this is where Pearl and the scarlet letter became “one”. To the Puritans, the scarlet letter is a peculiarity and so is Pearl, so some comparisons can be made between the two. Her exposure to the letter is a stepping-stone for the growing fixation that she has to it as she gets older. Pearl’s awareness of the letter helps the development of the plot and keeps Hester on her toes, because she rarely allows her mother to forget about it. “Still came the battery of flowers, almost invariably hitting the mark, and covering her mother’s breast…”(83) “I see you here. Look! Look... Hester looked, by way of humoring the child; and she saw that, owing to the peculiar effect of this convex mirror, the scarlet letter was represented in exaggerated and gigantic
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