Love, Wild Emotion, And Forbidden Love : Nathaniel Hawthorne 's The Scarlet Letter

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"Great Price" in Later Life Passion, wild emotion, and forbidden love: Nathaniel Hawthorne 's The Scarlet Letter. Published in 1850 and set in the seventeenth century, this is the story of the adulteress Hester Prynne (who has been forced to wear the scarlet letter A) and her lover in the early Massachusetts Bay colony. Pearl, Hester 's daughter, is a complex character whose primary function throughout the novel is symbolism. She is a living version of her mother 's scarlet letter, the physical consequence of sexual sin. As the story comes to an end, we learn details about the majority of the characters’ lives except one sassy damsel, Pearl. Hawthorne chose not to give more details about Pearl 's life, after her and Hester 's departure from Massachusetts, to ensure his intended themes throughout the novel went unaltered, and to maintain the underlying message of the original story as it compares to Mary Batcheller and her life. When one thinks of the name Pearl, one would imagine it means pure and white, but definitely not sinful. To Hester, it means the pearl of great price, in reference to the pearl in Jesus ' parable that is bought at "great price." Pearl is quite the firecracker and extremely smart. While Pearl and Dimmesdale only met once, she knows that he is her father and well aware that Dimmesdale and her mother are having secret meetings in the woods. Through her wanting to be loved, as every child does, she asks Hester, "Doth he love us? Will he go back with us, hand in hand, we three together, into the town?" Hawthorne spends a surprising amount of time talking about how Pearl is full of "native grace," and so pretty that she was "worth to have been brought forth in Eden." That may have been an easier life for Pe... ... middle of paper ... ...rrelating to the case of Mary Batcheller. The evidence is strong that Hawthorne derived the character Hester Prynne from the life of Batcheller. The obvious way to read The Scarlet Letter is to say that Pearl ends up redeeming both her mom and Dimmesdale. She is the "pearl of great price" who restores their souls. By Dimmesdale acknowledging Pearl, he gives her a human father and a place in the world. Obviously she cannot associate with the Puritan community, but his confession and death leads to Chillingworth. With his fortune, Pearl is able to get out of town and settle somewhere she can marry and have children. Without further knowledge of Pearl 's life, the reader can fully focus on Hester and the trials she faced while being exiled. Readers know Pearl lives a fulfilling life by the sigh of relief Hester and Dimmesdale would have felt if they lived to see the day

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