As a young girl, Pearl had always had a fascination and obsession with her mother’s scarlet letter. For example “In the forest scene when Hester takes off the Scarlet letter, Pearl becomes frantically disturbed and won’t quiet down until Hester has it back on her dress, as if by discarding the letter Hester has discarded Pearl,” (Johnson: A Literary Analysis of The Scarlet Letter, pg.1). The scarlet letter is a part of Hester, as is Pearl, if Hester removes the letter, she also disowns Pearl. The only way Pearl recognize her mother is when she has the letter on. Hester dresses Pearl in red so she can represent her scarlet letter.
The whole town recognizes the fact that Hester had committed adultery because her husband had not been seen for over two years, and Hester had just bore a child w... ... middle of paper ... ...blood! "(Hawthorne 162) Dimmesdale's soul is also saved because of Pearl. Pearl makes Dimmesdale feel so horrible that his only option left is to confess. Once Arthur Dimmesdale confesses to the town his sin, "Pearl kissed his lips.
(page 48) Even so, she cannot hide from what her sin has produced. Every day her daughter Pearl reminds her of her sin. The only way to freedom is to avoid being defined by the society in which she finds herself. It is a gradual process but slowly, due to her compassion for the poor and sick, people start to view Hester's badge as meaning “Able” rather than “Adulteress”. Eventually her badge becomes a blessing as other women come to her for advice and counseling in that, “people brought all their sorrows and perplexities, and besought her counsel, as... ... middle of paper ... ...pite being forgiven by Mr. Dimmesdale.
When she was forced to stand on the scaffold she held her baby tight as people looked her up and down with disgust. Even though the “A” showed problems for her, she didn’t budge and stood her sentence out despite how embarrassing it must have been. The first thing Pearl noticed when she was born was the scarlet letter on her mother’s chest. She reached up to touch it, and the letter became part of Hester, not only herself. Pearl didn’t actually know that the “A” represented Hester’s sin of adultery, but instead she made a connection with the object.
The Townspeople see the scarlet letter “A” as a form of embarrassment for Hester and a way of keeping order and peace within the colony. The story begins with Hester having to go on the scaffold and stand there for three hours with her two shameful sins, the letter A (which stands for Adulteress) and her illegitimate child. The magistrates feel as though constant public embarrassment will disclose the secret of the child’s father. On the scaffold Hester experiences harsh words. A group of women are having a discussion in the crowd and one-woman states, “At the very least, they should have put the brand of a hot iron on Hester Prynne’s forehead.
In view of others, an individual is defined by their actions but by accepting their consequence, one can overcome their new identity. In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne is known among her Puritan community by her scarlet letter ‘A’ that lies on her chest as a reminder of her crime. As she is labelled an ‘adulterer,’ and tries to remain her accomplice a mystery, Hester is faced with the challenge of trying to raise her daughter, Pearl, alone in ignominy. The scarlet letter, worn upon Hester’s chest, commences as a symbol of shame and isolation as a result of her punishment, but as the novel progresses, Hester begins to embody the scarlet letter as her own identity. The outset of the scarlet letter symbol initially represents
In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne goes through life changes based on her choice of being an adulterer, however, this negative punishment eventually causes her lifestyle to become positive. When one is introduced to Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter, she is depicted as a symbol of femininity. Hester exemplifies most of her femininity whilst imprisoned, her beauty outshining her shame. She defends herself with silence, refusing to answer during the minister’s interrogation, standing firm on the scaffold through her sad eyes. At this point in her life, condemned for eternity to wear the ashamed symbol on her breast, she explains to Chillingworth, her husband and acting doctor that she wishes for death... ... middle of paper ... ...rne describes her as not letting her hand cover the symbol.
The austere Puritan ways punish Hester through banishment from the community and the church, simultaneously punishing Pearl in the process. This isolation leads to an unspoken detachment and animosity between her and the other Puritan children. Thus we see how Pearl is conceived through sin, and how she suffers when her mother and the community situate this deed upon her like the scarlet letter on her mother's bosom. Hester Prynne impresses her feelings of guilt onto Pearl, whom she sees as a reminder of her sin, especially since as an infant Pearl is acutely aware of the scarlet letter "A" on her mother's chest. When still in her crib, Pearl reaches up and grasps the letter, causing "Hester Prynn [to] clutch the fatal token… so infinite was the torture inflicted by the intelligent touch of Pearl's baby-hand" (Hawthorne 88).
When her child Pearl was born, Hester's adulterous sin was discovered and she was cast out from their society and required to wear an embroidered “A” on her bosom in punishment. Hester felt guilt for her sin the rest of her life and sought repentance and absolution until the time she died. Hester never had true love for Chillingworth, but was tricked into marriage. She later told him this while speaking in her jail cell saying to him, “... thou knowest that I was frank with thee, I felt no love, nor feigned any” (Hawthorne, page #). Hester was betrayed, tricked and allowed herself to become caught up in the evil desires of another.
Pearl is the living embodiment of the Scarlet Letter. If the "A" is not attached to Hester, Pearl feels separation from her mom. Hester is always carefully dressing Pearl to bear a resemblance to the letter showing her acceptance. Pearl is always there to remind her mother of the crime she in some ways regrets. The Scarlet Letter is on the chest of Hester to keep her and Pearl together.