Pearl In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

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Pearl, Ahead of Her Time Pearl Prynne from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter refuses to follow rules of the strict, overbearing Puritan society through her contrasting modernism and precociousness. Pearl’s modern mentality rebels against the stern colonial Puritan culture. In Chapter 24, Chillingworth grants Pearl a large amount of land in the New World, breaking the boundaries previously thought that only men could own land. “So Pearl—the elf child—the demon offspring, as some people up to that epoch persisted in considering her—became the richest heiress of her day in the New World. Not improbably this circumstance wrought a very material change in the public estimation” (Chapter 24). Pearl, as one of the few women to own land during …show more content…

Throughout the novel, Pearl remains focused on discovering her father’s identity. Because she wishes to know her father’s identity, Pearl constantly bombards Hester, her mother, with questions. Most children at her age would never comprehend the cause behind their father’s absence, much less children have the ability to hold a conversation with their mother on the subject, and even fewer children would talk about the topic, as it was forbidden in the Puritan beliefs. Pearl challenges the Puritan’s pious nature through understanding the complicated nature of adultery and pestering her mother on the subject. Furthermore, Pearl’s precociousness enables her to focus on Hester’s scarlet letter and its meaning, which represented her mother’s breaking of Puritan rules. She confronts Hester multiple times about the letter and what it means. “’Mother,’ said little Pearl, ‘the sunshine does not love you. It runs away and hides itself, because it is afraid of something on your bosom…It will not flee from me, for I wear nothing on my bosom yet!’ ‘Nor ever will, my child, I hope,’ said Hester. ‘And why not, mother?’ asked Pearl, stopping short…’Will it not come of its own accord, when I am a woman grown?’” (Chapter 16). At such a young age, Pearl still possesses the ability to inquire about Hester’s letter and its much deeper meaning, even though she knows its use as a warning for those who rebel against the Puritan society. Finally, Pearl’s precociousness enables her position as the sole townsperson to question the relationship between Hester and Dimmesdale. The still extremely young Pearl confronts her mother about Dimmesdale. “’Doth he love us?’ said Pearl, looking up with acute intelligence into her mother's face. ‘Will he go back with us, hand in hand, we three together, into the town?’” (Chapter 19). Pearl quickly realizes that Hester and Dimmesdale have something

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