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Appearance vs. Reality, Isolation, and Good Can Come from Evil in The Scarlet Letter

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Throughout The Scarlet Letter, the reader knows that Pearl is the result of Hester’s and Dimmesdale’s sin, but does she have play a more important role in the novel? For instance, some readers may understand Pearl’s part in displaying the themes of this novel. In the beginning of the novel, Hester commits adultery with Dimmesdale and has who she names Pearl. Dimmesdale suffers because he keeps his sin a secret, while Hester is unable to and is punished for it. Dimmesdale also suffers because he never builds a connection with Pearl: In the end of the novel, though, when he dies, Pearl accepts him and kisses him. Later, Pearl becomes one of the richest women in the world, gets married, has a family, and lives a happy life. Pearl is a major character in the story, and she has an important role in displaying the themes of The Scarlet Letter: Appearance vs. Reality, Isolation, and Good Can Come from Evil.

One theme that Pearl displays is Appearance vs. Reality. The Puritan people label Pearl as an evil child throughout the entire novel. In fact, they picture her as a devil child, but really she is just a little girl who is growing up normally like any other child. In the end, though, she becomes a sympathetic being after Dimmesdale dies. Hawthorne gives insight when he describes pearl as, "Pearl, that wild and flighty little elf, stole softly towards him, and taking his hand in the grasp of both of her own, laid her cheek against it; a caress so tender, and withal so unobtrusive, that her mother, who was looking on, asked herself, 'Is that my Pearl?'" (115). This shows who Pearl truly is; she is just an innocent girl, but people think she is the complete opposite. The author, Hawthorne, gives his input on Pearl here,

We have as ye...

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...he better when she kisses him which shows all she really wants is his acceptance. In The Scarlet Letter it can be seen that Pearl goes through a lot of hardships but she overcomes those and greatly benefits from her ordeal. (pg 223)

Throughout the story, Pearl represents the themes of Appearance vs. Reality, Isolation, and Good Can Come from Evil. Pearl is an innocent girl who is shown as a devil, when in reality, she is just the opposite. The community’s perception of her keeps her isolated from the Puritan people, which cause her emotional pain. However, it can be seen that Pearl is the only good to come from Hester and Dimmesdale, and she deserves the life that she gets in the end of the novel. Pearl shows many themes in the novel and proves to have a lot of depth in her character. She is the one hope that the reader holds onto until the end of the novel.