The Scarlett Letter: Pearl Analysis

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Often times, children remind their parents of the mistakes they previously made. However, if the adults gain enough courage and learn to stand up to their wrongdoings, their children will help them see and reach their upmost greatness. Nathaniel Hawthorne illustrates the life of Pearl, a young girl, in his novel, The Scarlet Letter. Initially, Hester Prynne, Pearl’s mother, marries Roger Chillingworth; however, she soon meets the Puritan Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, and Pearl results 9 months later. The Puritan society forces Hester to wear a scarlet and gold colored “A” on her chest as a reminder of her crime - adultery. In society’s eyes, Pearl serves as a reminder of Hester’s sin, establishing Pearl as a living scarlet letter, although she IS ultimately innocent. Furthermore, Pearl causes her mother to confront her sin in order to shift towards a reputable lifestyle. Similarly, Pearl guides Dimmesdale to his inner father figure, his true title. By analyzing Pearl as a symbol to the scarlet setter, Hester, and Dimmesdale, a reader sees that although a child may have entered the world because of a sin, it does not brand her as evil, and, rather, she provides beneficiary assistance to the people around her. Simply because Hester, the “criminal,” gave birth to Pearl, society immediately perceives Pearl as an imp. One day following Hester’s trial, Hester visits Governor Bellingham to deliver a pair of gloves she made for him and to learn whether or not the authorities will take Pearl from her. The Puritan community already acknowledges Pearl as a devil-child. They strongly associate Pearl to the scarlet letter in, “that it irresistibly and inevitably reminded the beholder of the token which Hester Prynne was doomed to wear upon he... ... middle of paper ... ...rges her daughter to embrace and kiss Dimmesdale. In response, Pearl asks her mother, “Will he go back with us, hand in hand, us three together, into the town” (136)? Having also committed a sin, Dimmesdale does not allow himself to face its consequences, like having a family. However, when Pearl asks if he will hold hands with them, publicly, she wants Dimmesdale to face his sin and move on - she wishes for a true father. At the end of the novel, Dimmesdale gives a fervent sermon, and he reveals his own red stigma to the community. As a result, Pearl gives Dimmesdale the kiss she has so far denied him. Dimmesdale moves past his sin and the consequences by accepting his title as a father because Pearl does not allow him in her life otherwise. Although Dimmesdale dies shortly after his sermon, Pearl helps him accept his sin and gain a spot in her and Hester’s lives.

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