Analysis Of Pearl In Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter"

One of the most significant writers of the romantic period in American
literature was Nathaniel Hawthorne. Hawthorne wrote stories that opposed the
ideas of Transcendentalism. Since he had ancestors of Puritan belief, Hawthorne
wrote many stories about Puritan New England. His most famous story is the
Scarlet Letter. This novel tells of the punishment of a woman, Hester Prynne,
who committed adultery and gave birth to Pearl. A minister of Boston, Arthur
Dimmesdale, had an affair with Hester while believing that her husband, Roger
Chillingworth, had died. However, Chillingworth did not die and appears during
the early stages of Hester's punishment.
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begins, Hester Prynne gives birth to Pearl after having an
affair with Arthur Dimmesdale, a Puritan minister. Pearl's birth proves that
Hester cheated on her husband Roger Chillingworth provoking the stories action.
The novel opens with the people of Boston staring and laughing at Hester holding
Pearl while standing on the town's scaffold. At this time, Pearl is three
months old. Years later Hester gets released from jail and lives with Pearl in
the outskirts of town. Since Hester becomes alienated from Boston, Pearl turns
into "her mother's only treasure!" (Hawthorne 76). Hester makes bright red
clothes for Pearl that parallel the scarlet "A." At age three, Pearl endures
many laughs and jokes from other Puritan children but chases them away with
stones. Since Pearl's birth resulted from broken rules, she does not feel the
obligation to follow rules. Although her life is an outcast of Puritan society,
Pearl's language shows a high level of intelligence. Later, Hester ...

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dies in Boston. Hawthorne never tells
exactly what happened to Pearl. The people of Boston have many different ideas
about Pearl's fate. For example, some believe that she died or that she married
and received money from Chillingworth's will. The character of Pearl portrayed
a large role in the plot of the Scarlet Letter.


Nathaniel Hawthorne develops Pearl into the most obvious central symbol of
the novel, the scarlet letter. First, Pearl's birth resulted from the sin of
adultery, the meaning of the "A." Since she came from a broken rule, Pearl does
not feel that she has to follow rules. Hawthorne expresses that "The child could
not ...

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Analysis Of Pearl In Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter". (2007, May 15). Retrieved October 18, 2018, from
"Analysis Of Pearl In Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter".", 15 May. 2007. Web. 18 Oct. 2018. <>
"Analysis Of Pearl In Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter"." May 15, 2007. Accessed October 18, 2018.
"Analysis Of Pearl In Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter"." May 15, 2007. Accessed October 18, 2018.
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Added: 5/15/2007 01:04:53 AM
Category: Book Reports
Type: Free Paper
Words: 1256
Pages: 5

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