Pearl In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

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Pearl from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a very important character, and an even more significant symbol. She represents the fact that even when everything seems lost, there is still hope, and that there is more to live for. Pearl helps explain the bond between a mother and a child and symbolizes sin, consequence, and morality. Hester Prynne is an adulteress who has a child, and this child is named Pearl. Later in The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, more information about the child is given. She is called a demon child, among other names. Pearl represents sin, which is ironic, considering that an actual pearl represents purity and innocence. Pearl is innocent, and does not deserve persecution from the town, but is a sign of Hester’s adultery, so is…show more content…
“For so Hester had called her; not as a name expensive of her aspect, which had nothing of the calm, white, unimpassioned lustre that would be indicated by the comparison. But she named the infant ‘Pearl’ as being of great price-being purchased with all she had- her mother’s only treasure!” (Hawthorne 79) Hester has lost her place in society, and becomes an outcast once she conceives Pearl, because it becomes known that she is an adulteress. Hester also views Pearl as a constant reminder of how she sinned. Hester, talking about Pearl, says, “’she is my torture, none the less! Pearl keeps me here in life! Pearl punishes me too! See ye not, she is the scarlet letter, only capable of being loved, and so endowed with a millionfold the Power of retribution for my sin?” (Hawthorne 100). Pearl is always around Hester, and one of the first things the little girl recognizes is the scarlet letter that is on her mother’s chest. One thing she always does is ask about the letter (Hawthorne 161-164) and this bothers Hester greatly, because she wants to protect Pearl but at the same time, does not want to explain the sin she
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