The Black man’s role and effect on the scarlet letters characters The Scarlet Letter deals with many themes but a prominent theme of the entire book is the theme of the occult and the Black man, and also known as Satan. Throughout the book Hester thinks that the black man is working his thoughts and actions into her life. The black man also is in the lives of others around her such as Dimmesdale, Mistress Hibbons, and especially her daughter the symbol of her sin, Pearl. The sin that the black man tempted her with shapes the morals of her daughter Pearl and the way she views the world Pearl is the symbol of Hester’s sin a sin that was she was tempted by the black man and is called the child of the black man. Pearl was created by that sin and the black man is the master of all sin. “Throughout all, however, there was a trait of passion, a certain depth of hue….
The child could not be made amenable to rules….The mother’s impassioned state had been the medium through which were transmitted to the unborn infant the rays of its moral life; and, however white and clear originally, the black shadow, and the untempered light of the intervening substance. The sin the black man tempted Hester on and then she committed traveled through her and into pearl. “And, mother, the old dame said that this scarlet letter was the Black Man’s mark on thee, and that it glows like a red flame when thou meetest him at midnight(Hawthorne 56).” Therefore, pearls morals are warped to Pearl good is bad and bad is good. The sin Hester committed causing her to act the way she does. Pearl shows this through being a “demon child” because the sin is believed by Hester to be the mark of Satan so the sin that was the mark of Satan passed down to pearl shaped Pearl’s morals.
The Black man is a source of mystery in the Scarlet letter and provides a source of mystery for pearl and also creates a fascination with the Black Man. Pearl has a fascination with the forest and loves being there. This shows a strong fascination with the forest. “Black Man that haunts the forest (Hawthorne 72)” it belongs to the black man pearl has an inherent fascination with the place the Black man haunts. The Scarlet Letter creates a mystery for Pearl and makes her wonder where it is she came from and is fascinated in where it came from and finally is told by her mother that she came from the mark of the Black Man. Pearl learns this and begins trying to find the black man such as with chillingworth when she sees him and thinks he is the black man she tells her mom to come away mother or the Black man will catch you. Even though Chillingworth is not the Black man just that he has characteristics of the Black man .
The Black man that gave her mother the scarlet letter that caused her to be conceived and she wants to know where she came from. The sin that Hester committed or the scarlet letter was a mark given to her by the Black man. The Black man is a source of mystery for pearl in the book and causes her to try to find out where she came from and find how she came to be. The Black man’s mark was the scarlet letter and he also controls the forest and is role is evident is in that he has an effect on people’s lives and shapes people actions through what he does whether it be by his presence in the force or his mark on the chest of Hester Prynne. The puritan society recognizes the role of the Black man and the scarlet letter was trying to show how much the black man the ultimate source of evil can affect our lives.