The Role Of Pearl In The Scarlet Letter

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Pearl’s Role
In The Scarlet Letter Pearl is Hester’s illegitimate daughter, who can be described as inquisitive, bold, stubborn, and imaginative. Growing up she is obsessed with Hester 's scarlet letter, and proves to be a rather odd child. This is demonstrated by her odd behavior and drastic mood changes. Throughout the novel, Pearl intricately affects the lives of both Hester and Dimmesdale. For Hester, she serves as someone to protect, cherish, and raise, and is even viewed by parts of the community as someone to keep Hester in line. For Dimmesdale, Pearl represents his conscience, telling him what the right thing to do is, while also affecting his guilt. Throughout the novel, Pearl serves as a living symbol of the scarlet letter through
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This position is most visible at the beginning of the book and in the first scaffold scene. For instance, when Hester is walking to the scaffold and trying to use Pearl to cover the letter, Hawthorne describes how Hester can not use one form of her shame to conceal another aspect of it. This draws a connection between the scarlet letter, Pearl, and Hester’s sin, and this connection will last throughout the book. Another connection between Pearl and Hester 's sinful past is how Pearl is viewed and referred to as a token of shame. This further develops the link between Pearl and the scarlet letter (Sterling). Furthermore, this connection is seen in the book though Pearl’s obsession with the embroidered “A”. For instance, early on in her life the first object Pearl gave much attention to was the scarlet letter. This was noted in the The Scarlet Letter when Hawthorne said, “But that first object of which Pearl seemed aware of was - shall we say it?- the scarlet letter on Hester 's bosom!” (Hawthorne 88). This quote is one of several instances of Pearl’s strange obsession with the scarlet letter in her early childhood. Instances like this help to further develop the connection between the scarlet letter and Pearl, and remind Hester of her sin. Pearl’s role as a reminder of Hester 's sin is clearly explained throughout the book, and it shows how Pearl serves as a…show more content…
Just as how Hester attempts to make the scarlet letter beautiful, she dresses Pearl elegantly as well (Dodge). Hawthorne describes this in the following quote, “But little Pearl was not clad in rustic weeds. Her mother, with a morbid purpose, that may be better understood hereafter, had bought the richest tissues that could be procured, and allowed her imaginative faculty its fullest play in the arrangement in the decoration of the dresses which the little child wore (Hawthorne 82). At the time, most Puritan adults and children wore bland clothes in grim, dark colors. Hester contrasted this by making Pearl dress in beautiful colors and fine garments just as she did with her scarlet letter. Hester’s occupation as a seamstress enables her to artistically create the letter “A” in a fine manner. It is embroidered with gold thread, and made of fine scarlet cloth, which surpassed the typical clothing of the day. This description of the scarlet letter is very similar to the way Pearl is clothed. By dressing Pearl as beautifully as the scarlet letter, Hawthorne shows the deep symbolic relation between Pearl and the

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