The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

1574 Words7 Pages
The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, narrates the events of young adulteress Hester Prynne and her secret lover Arthur Dimmesdale – telling a story of lust, guilt, and betrayal. Despite her affair being more passionate than her legal marriage to Roger Chillingworth, Hester’s sinful act ends with a pregnancy which results in disastrous consequences. She is thrown into a crowd of ravenous puritans, vying to save themselves from eternal damnation, and is forced to endure the harsh hypocritical criticism of her peers. Through this emotional pain and suffering Hester raises her child, Pearl, to the best of her abilities, only to be surprised when she ends up as wild and free as the act that conceived her. Pearl’s untamed character is…show more content…
She is described as being “sprung, by the inscrutable decree of Providence, a lovely and immortal flower, out of the rank luxuriance of a guilty passion” (Hawthorne 80). Even though Pearl herself has not committed any crime, due to her parents being “guilty”, she is also punished and treated as an outcast. The diction of “rank luxuriance” indicates that Hester and Dimmesdale 's act of adoration is more complex than a naive impulse. As a result, though their behavior is considered foul, it has a sense of beauty - being extravagant and rich - like Pearl. By being compared directly to a “lovely and immortal flower,” she gains the characteristics of youth, beauty, and innocence, which will last not only to the end of her existence, but to the end of time. She is born into a society of strict rules and traditional values, and being a child, she should have been molded into the monochrome individual similar to her peers, however, that was not the case. Pearl is a rare beauty, blossoming in the infertile soil of her rigid environment, flourishing for all to see. As a member of the next generation, Pearl is representative of the future, welcoming the budding roses ready to sprout, and is displaying an everlasting time of imperfections and grace. Despite that, Pearl is trapped in a community persistent on tired doctrine and is resistant to change. While at the governor’s mansion, Pearl spots a garden through a window – one that is desperately trying to
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