Scarlet Letter Sin Essay

Decent Essays

Sinning is something everybody does; it is human nature. Sometimes the consequences are too excessive to abide by. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne commits a sin by sleeping with the town’s minister, Arthur Dimmesdale. At first, Hester's daughter, Pearl, acts as a constant reminder of her sin. Later, Pearl is transformed into a symbol of innocence. Finally, Pearl redeems Hester from her sin. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s, The Scarlet Letter, Pearl is recognized as a symbol of sin, innocence, and redemption.
Hawthorne demonstrates in The Scarlet Letter how Pearl is a symbol of sin. Pearl is Hester Prynne’s real-life remembrance of her sin. Every time Hester looks at Pearl, she remembers what she did. Hawthorne …show more content…

The denotation of imp is “a small, mischievous devil or spirit.” Although Pearl is only a child, the town associates her with Hester's adultery, making her initially appear as a symbol of sin.
Secondly, Pearl is demonstrated as a symbol of innocence. This can be seen in the language Hawthorne uses to describe Pearl. Hawthorne shows this by saying, “So much strength of coloring, which must have given a wan and pallid aspect to cheeks of a fainter bloom, was admirably adapted to Pearl’s beauty, and made her the very brightest little jet of flame that ever danced upon the earth” (Hawthorne 82). In this quotation, Hawthorne is showing how beautiful Pearl is. The connotation of the entire sentence is positive. Hawthorne chooses words such as, “bloom,” “admirably,” “beauty,” “brightest,” and “danced.” These select words create an innocent essence throughout the novel. All of these words are typically associated with something pure and beautiful. Another way Pearl’s innocence is seen is when she is talking to Dimmesdale. Hawthorne writes, “‘But wilt thou promise’ asked Pearl, ‘to take my hand, and mother’s hand, to-morrow noontime?’ ‘Not then, Pearl’ said the minister, ‘but another time!’ ‘And what other time?’ persisted the child. ‘At the great judgement day!’ whispered the minister-“ (Hawthorne 121). This dialogue shows that Pearl is pure and innocent. She just wants to have a normal family. Although Pearl has not do anything wrong, she is being punished

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