Analysis Of Pearl In Hawthorne

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Analysis Of Pearl In Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter” Essay, Research Paper 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. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the character of Pearl in the Scarlet Letter. Her whole life had many difficulties while living in Puritan New England. Furthermore, Pearl displays much parallelism to the scarlet letter that Hester must wear. Finally, Pearl’s birth intensified the conflicts in the novel. Clearly, Pearl becomes the symbol of all the other major characters’ tragedies. Chronology The character of Pearl in the Scarlet Letter lived a very difficult life. Before the novel 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 receives word that the magistrates want to take Pearl away

from her. Hester takes Pearl to the governor’s house where the child meets her father, Arthur Dimmesdale. After Dimmesdale persuades the governors to allow Hester to keep Pearl, he gives the child a kiss on the forehead. This kiss hints that Dimmesdale is Pearl’s father. When Hester and Pearl return from Governor Winthrop’s death bed, they join Dimmesdale standing on the town’s scaffold. Pearl asks Dimmesdale “Wilt thou stand here with mother and me, to-morrow noontide?” (Hawthorne 131) twice. Realizing that Arthur is her father, Pearl wants him to confess his sin so that the three of them can live peacefully. Next, Hester takes Pearl for a walk in the woods to meet Dimmesdale. While the two lovers talk and come up with plans to leave for England, Pearl goes off and

plays in the woods. After Hester and Dimmesdale finish talking, Pearl returns and finds that her mother has removed the scarlet letter. Pearl, who has grown attached to the “A,” throws a temper tantrum until Hester puts the letter back on her dress. Later, Dimmesdale kisses Pearl, who then runs to a brook and washes off the kiss. Pearl does not accept Dimmesdale as her father. At the end of the novel, Hester and Pearl go to England, but Hester returns and 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