Pearl as a Symbol
Uploaded by west10s on Mar 08, 2001
In Nathaniel Hawthorne's the Scarlet Letter, Pearl, is a symbol of sin and adultery in the sense that she leads Dimmsdale and Hester to their confession and the acceptance of their sins. A beauitful daughter of the towns adulturist has somtimes demon like traits. She is also the only living symblol of the scarlet letter "A". In another way Pearl also makes a uniwue connection between Dimmsdale and Hester.
Initially Pearl is the symbol of Hesters public punishment for her adultery. As the novel progresses and Pearl matures she symbolizes the deteriation of Hester's like by constantly asking her about the scarlet letter "A". Pearl in a sense wants her mother to live up to her sin and, she achieves this by constantly asking her about the scarlet letter. Another peice of evidence that shows how Pearl symbolizes the sin Hester has committed, is when the town government wants to take Pearl away from her Revrend Dimmsdale convinces the government that Pearl is a living reminder of her sin. This is essentialy true, Hester without Pearl is like having Hester without sin.
Pearl is not only a symbol of Hester but also a symbol to Dimmsdale. Pearl will not let him into her life until he accepts his sin. She wants him as a father but will not let him until he will not hide his sin in public. Pearl knows that Dimmsdale will not be seen holding her hand in the public eye and this bothers her. She asks her mother, " wilt tho promise to hold my and thy mothers hand to-morrow?"(105)
As we reach the finally of the story Dimmsdale confesses his sin and he has a sense of happness and self peace almost immedietly. Pearl has longed for his public love and affection and in the closing scenes she receives it. With all this at hand Pearl cries for the first time in the book.
In the Scarlet Letter, Pearl symbolizes Hester and Dimmsdales connection in many ways. Pearl is the symbol of her mothers sin. Not only is she this great symbol for her mother, but Dimmsdale also. Most important Pearl leads Dimmsdale and Hester to the acceptance of their sin.