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Pearl Extension Of Scarlet Letter

  • Date Submitted: 03/17/2010 12:49 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 61.2 
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Pearl Extension Of Scarlet Letter

No other Pearl can be worth more to a story than this Pearl, but no pearl had ever been earned at as high a cost to a person as in Hester Prynne, the powerful Main Character in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel “The Scarlet Letter”. Her daughter Pearl, born into a Puritan prison in more ways than one, is an enigmatic character serving entirely as a vehicle for symbolism. From her introduction as an infant on her mother’s scaffold of shame to the stormy peak of the story, Pearl is an empathetic and intelligent child. Throughout the story she absorbs the hidden emotions of her mother and magnifies them for all to see. Pearl is the essence of literary symbolism. She is at times a vehicle for Hawthorne to express the inconsistent and translucent qualities of Hester’s unlawful bond at times, and at others a forceful reminder of her mother’s sin. Which is why she is a perfect extension of the scarlet letter and its punishment. Pearl Prynne is her mother’s most precious possession and her only reason to live, but also serves as a priceless treasure purchased with her life. Pearl’s strange beauty and deeply enigmatic qualities make her the most powerful symbol Hawthorne has ever created. The product of Hester’s sin and agony, Pearl, was a painfully constant reminder of her mother’s violation of the Seventh Commandment: Thou shalt not commit adultery. Hester herself felt that Pearl was given to her not only as a blessing but a punishment worse than death or ignominy. She is tormented by her daughter’s childish teasing and endless questioning about the scarlet letter and it’s meaning to hernister . After Pearl has created a letter “A” on her own breast out of seaweed, she asks her mother: “But in good earnest, now, mother dear, what does this scarlet letter mean? -- and why dost thou wear it on thy bosom?” In saying this Pearl implies that she knows much, much more about the scarlet letter than she lets on. Throughout the conversation Pearl is...


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