Pearl's Symbolic Divinity in The Scarlet Letter

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Pearl is the unifying character in Scarlet Letter especially among Hester, Dimmesdale and Chillingworth. As one of the most complex characters, Pearl is related to Hester and Dimmesdale because she is the personification of their sin and to Chillingworth because she represents what he wants vengeance for. Hester, Pearl’s mother, is who Pearl looks up to and wants to be like. To Dimmesdale, Pearl has an even greater significance than she may be able to understand. Dimmesdale’s guilt for committing a sin and seeing Pearl, someone completely innocent, ostracized by society tortures him to the extent that he physically punishes himself. Chillingworth and Pearl are connected because of their relationships to Dimmesdale and Hester, respectively, as a burden. This however is complex for Pearl as she cannot just be the child of sin because she still has much of a positive cast on them as well.

Throughout Hawthorne’s story, Pearl’s association with her mother, Hester, strengthens her significance in the society. Her dealings with her own mother continue to evolve into more and more interesting interactions. For example when Hester and Pearl are in conversation in the beginning of The Scarlet Letter, Hester slowly begins to see more into her own daughters unique observations. Apparently Pearl, still a young child, can identify Hester’s significant relationship between Dimmesdale and Chillingworth. Pearl exclaims “I Have No Heavenly Father” (Hawthorne VI), in response to Hester and her conversation regarding Pearl’s very origin. Pearl constantly reminds Hester of her sin but at the same time Pearl also brings Hester joy which shows Hester’s new thinking of how no one can be purely evil. The society looks upon Pearl’s intuitivenes...

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...illingworth, because she is a product of his wife sin, she is a source of pain but she also brings him happiness because she is a burden to his wife too. Through Pearl’s character, Hawthorne brings the question of good versus evil out. One cannot be there without the other so society, which is destined to sin due to the original sin, cannot be the real judge of good or evil. Pearl was a burden to Chillingworth, Dimmesdale, and Hester but she was only a burden because she was leading them all towards good. She was more of a divine character helping all three of them and she changed them all or the better. She was labeled evil only because of society’s cynical view. This shows that society was wrong to label her evil just by way of birth. Pearls complex nature of good versus evil was shown through her relationships with her mother, Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth.
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