Show MoreScarlet Letter - Pearl as a symbol
Pearl is a symbol of Hester’s transgressions and even has similar qualities as the sin which she represents. Pearl’s life and behavior directly reflects the unacceptable and abnormal nature of Hester’s adulterous sin. Hester is plagued with more than just a letter “A”; she is given a child from her affair who is just as much a reminder of her sin as the scarlet letter. Ultimately Hester overcomes the shame associated the scarlet letter and creates a sense of family for herself and Pearl. This relationship is integral to the theme of this novel and the development of its characters.
Pearls behavior could be described as abnormal, disrespectful, undignified, or altogether opposite of most Puritan…show more content…
Although Pearl is definitely a positive, spirit building, influence on Hester’s life, Pearl’s main role as the scarlet letter proves to challenge Hester’s resolve. Pearl is “the scarlet letter, only capable of being loved, and so endowed with a millionfold the power of retribution…” (p64) As a symbol of her sin, Hester dresses up Pearl to look nice just like she does to the scarlet letter itself. This is Hester’s way of overcoming her tribulation, she is, nevertheless, constantly aware of her shortcomings… “Thou must gather thine own sunshine. I have none to give thee!” (p54)
As time passes, Hester’s endurance and determination shines through. Many people in the Puritan community “refused to interpret the scarlet A by its original signification. They said that it meant Able; so strong was Hester Prynne, with a woman's strength." (p113) Pearl grows in her understanding of life in the Puritan society and in her understanding of her mother and father. The scarlet letter matures into a symbol of Hester’s perseverance, while Pearl continues to enhance herself as a subject of Hester’s past indiscretions.
It is clear that Pearl is as much a blessing to Hester as she is a wicked reminder of the past. All human beings are naturally endowed with good qualities and bad qualities. A steady balance of each is what makes an interesting and assertive individual. Pearl is the complete fulfillment of Hester’s roles as a
Essay on Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter
569 Words3 Pages
In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the author presents three symbols that all reinforce the main idea of the novel. The main idea that reoccurred throughout the novel is that people don’t have to let their mistakes or circumstances determine who they are or what they become; it’s all in how one interprets life. Many symbols may seem as just an ordinary character or coincidental object to some readers, but the symbols have a deeper, underlying meaning. Although there are many symbols in this book, there are three that really help support the main idea: Hester Prynne’s scarlet letter, the meteor, and Hester’s daughter Pearl. One symbol is Hester’s scarlet “A” that she wears on her bosom. She received this letter, specifically…show more content…
The Puritans despised Hester and her symbol for her sin, and shunned her for many years even after her prison sentence. Hester could have just lived a depressed, lonely life in seclusion with her daughter Pearl, but she decided to accept her sin and wrong doing to become a mentally stronger woman. During the many years of Hester being in prison and being rejected when she was released, she practiced needlework to provide food for her and her daughter. As the people in Salem recognized her talent of her embroidery and garments, they began respecting her talent, and so the scarlet “A” that stood for “adulterer” slowly began to stand for “able.” Hester started to supply apparel for babies, ceremonies, inaugurations, and funerals. Furthermore, the Scarlet letter has another symbolic meaning. When Pearl went to the seashore, she made a green letter “A” out of seaweed – nature’s color. This was symbolic for Pearl’s sinless life so far because she hasn’t truly been introduced to sin; she still is “green” and “pure”. As for Hester, her scarlet “A” is symbolic of her many sins, for no one can avoid sin as they grow older. A second symbol that supports the main idea is the meteor. As The Scarlet Letter progresses, the readers find out that Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale is the man who committed adultery with Hester. Because he has not admitted to his fault, Dimmesdale has been plagued with a sickness where he is constantly grabbing at