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 the ways she personifies it.
Pearl is a living embodiment of the Scarlet Letter, because she is a constant reminder of Hester’s sinful past. 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 ...
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...s linked to the scarlet letter, and serves as a personification of it.
Pearl serves as a living embodiment of the scarlet letter through the way she is described as a character. One example of this is how she serves as a constant reminder of Hester 's sin. This is exhibited through the first scaffold scene, as well as how Pearl is described as a token of shame. This is very similar to the descriptions of the scarlet letter. Another way she personifies the scarlet letter is the way in which she is dressed. The colors she wears, and the nature of her clothes also match descriptions of the scarlet letter. Final, the way in which Pearl’s social interactions are described are comparable to the way in which the effect of the scarlet letter. These similarities are intriguing and work to exhibit the ways in which Pearl serves as a living personification of the scarlet letter.
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