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The Scarlet Letter – Pearl Essay

Pearl is an ironic and contradictory symbolism of pure and gracefulness. It is ironic that she is the child born to two great sinners. The way Hawthorn creates Pearl is by combining great contradictions together. Pearl is a misbehaving and mischievous child always showered by praise and wrapped with great angelical beauty.

Hawthorne begins to develop Pearl’s character by opening up with a short aphorism describing Pearl as a child with “no physical defects. He builds off this statement about Pearl by remarking how fit she was to be in heaven as a play toy for all the angles. He then asserts the gracefulness of Pearl with the image of her running later on in the chapter with such grace as her feet never touched the ground. Hawthorne then follows through with Pearl’s development by contradicting Pearl with her environment – her beauty. It is stated that the clothes worn by little Pearl were hand made by her mother.

Pearl did not just wear any “clad in rustic weeds,” but she was wrapped with “the richest tissues that could be procured. ” That states, Pearl is described as a walking halo effect, radiating beauty about her surroundings everywhere she goes. All of this beauty is contrasted against the behavior of Pearl. It was declared that this “child could not be made amendable to rules” since Pearl would always be rough housing by throwing rocks at other children or speaking out the wrong things at precisely the wrong moments.

Symbolically, Pearl represents the childhood innocence for the entire community since she always gets off easily with everything she does. Pearl’s existence in the novel contrasts with her parents as well. Two great sinners who have bore a child so majestically. She serves as a physical and an intangible emotional punishment for Hester’s sin. Pearl is the physical and living representation of the red Scarlet Letter worn by her mother upon her breast.

She is also the symbol that represents hope for Hester as her life has fallen dark and torn apart aside from her little Pearl, which she works hard to please Pearl and tries her hardest to give Pearl the best she can give. Pearl is a character in the novel “The Scarlet Letter” who is described with great beauty and grace. Though contradicting her appearance is her immature and mischievous behavior. She serves as juxtaposition between her and her environment and society. Pearl is a symbol of beauty, grace, innocence and hope for the story.


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