Pearl as a Symbol in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Essay

Pearl as a Symbol in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Essay

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Pearl as a Symbol in The Scarlet Letter


The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a book of much symbolism. One of the most complex and misunderstood symbols in this novel is Pearl, the daughter of Hester Prynne. The novel opens with a scene in which we learn about the sin Hester has committed, adultery. Hester has a baby and she refuses to turn in her baby's father, Arthur Dimmesdale. Because this sin is considered to be one of the worst in the Puritan society, Hester is forced to wear a scarlet "A" which stands for adultery. Hester also has to stand on a scaffold in front of the townspeople to punish her for the sin in which she has committed and also as an example to the crowd. Throughout the novel, Pearl functions as a symbol in many ways.

Initially Pearl is the symbol of Hester's public punishment for her adultery. As the novel progresses, Pearl becomes a constant reminder of Hester's sin. She relates to the scarlet letter, but while not symbolizing the sin itself, she symbolized the result of sin. Pearl would often nag her mother and became in...

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Pearl as a Symbol in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Essay

- Pearl as a Symbol in The Scarlet Letter The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a book of much symbolism. One of the most complex and misunderstood symbols in this novel is Pearl, the daughter of Hester Prynne. The novel opens with a scene in which we learn about the sin Hester has committed, adultery. Hester has a baby and she refuses to turn in her baby's father, Arthur Dimmesdale. Because this sin is considered to be one of the worst in the Puritan society, Hester is forced to wear a scarlet "A" which stands for adultery....   [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]

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