Scarlet Letter Pearl =symbol

January 17, 2017 General Studies

Pearl is the living symbol of her mother’s sin. Likewise, in the book, The Scarlet Letter, Pearl symbolizes many fascinating things. An example of Hawthorne using Pearl symbolically occurs when Hester dresses her daughter for the interview with Governor Bellingham. Pearl wears ” a crimson velvet tunic embroidered in flourishes of gold thread It was the scarlet letter endowed with life.”” (Hawthorne 78) As Pearl intended, the red letter of adultery was brought to life in the bright red dress. But also, Pearl symbolized a way of punishing Hester for her adultery. The way Hester’s life was ruined for so long was the final price that Hester paid for Pearl. With Pearl, Hester’s life was one almost never filled with joy, but instead a constant nagging. Pearl would harass her mother over the “A” which she wore. “Gazing at Pearl, Hester Prynne often dropped her work upon her knees, and cried out with an agony which she would fain have hidden, but which made utterance for itself betwixt speech and a groan “”O Father in Heaven “if Thou art still my Father “what is this being which I have brought into the world?” (Hawthorne 73) One final way in which Pearl symbolized something in the novel was with her connection with the scarlet letter. Pearl really was the scarlet letter, because if Pearl had never been born, Hester would have never been found guilty of adultery, and therefore never would have had to wear the shameful “A- upon her chest. Without that horrible burden, Hester would have led a much better life then the one she had in the novel. In conclusion, Pearl was a source of many different kinds of symbolism. From her bright clothing, to representing the scarlet letter “A”, to a punishment for Hester. Pearl was more than her mother’s only treasure, she was her mother’s only source of survival.


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