Appearance Vs. Reality, Isolation, And Good Can Come From Evil In The Scarlet Letter

1193 words - 5 pages

Throughout The Scarlet Letter, the reader knows that Pearl is the result of Hester’s and Dimmesdale’s sin, but does she have play a more important role in the novel? For instance, some readers may understand Pearl’s part in displaying the themes of this novel. In the beginning of the novel, Hester commits adultery with Dimmesdale and has who she names Pearl. Dimmesdale suffers because he keeps his sin a secret, while Hester is unable to and is punished for it. Dimmesdale also suffers because he never builds a connection with Pearl: In the end of the novel, though, when he dies, Pearl accepts him and kisses him. Later, Pearl becomes one of the richest women in the world, gets married, has a family, and lives a happy life. Pearl is a major character in the story, and she has an important role in displaying the themes of The Scarlet Letter: Appearance vs. Reality, Isolation, and Good Can Come from Evil.
One theme that Pearl displays is Appearance vs. Reality. The Puritan people label Pearl as an evil child throughout the entire novel. In fact, they picture her as a devil child, but really she is just a little girl who is growing up normally like any other child. In the end, though, she becomes a sympathetic being after Dimmesdale dies. Hawthorne gives insight when he describes pearl as, "Pearl, that wild and flighty little elf, stole softly towards him, and taking his hand in the grasp of both of her own, laid her cheek against it; a caress so tender, and withal so unobtrusive, that her mother, who was looking on, asked herself, 'Is that my Pearl?'" (115). This shows who Pearl truly is; she is just an innocent girl, but people think she is the complete opposite. The author, Hawthorne, gives his input on Pearl here,
We have as yet hardly spoken of the infant; that little creature, whose innocent life had sprung, by the inscrutable decree of Providence, a lovely and immortal flower, out of the rank luxuriance of a guilty passion. How strange it seemed to the sad woman, as she watched the growth, and the beauty that became every day more brilliant, and the intelligence that through its quivering sunshine over the tiny features of this child! Her Pearl! (51)
This quote shows Pearl’s character as well: She is a sweet innocent girl who is just like any other child in the world today. Pearl is a normal child and she does not deserve the isolation that the Puritan people put impose upon her.
Isolation is another theme that Pearl displays in The Scarlet Letter. Evidence of this theme can be found in how Pearl and Hester live on the outskirts of town. The Puritan people see Pearl and Hester as horrible people. The children in the story make fun of Pearl and her mother. This teasing causes Pearl into fights as a result. Because of this, Pearl is has no friends and is very lonely: The only friendship she has is with nature.
These Pearl gathered, and was pleased with their wild flavor. The small denizens of the wilderness hardly took pains to move out...

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