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Character Analysis: "Pearl" From Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

848 words - 3 pages

Pearl is the symbolic character of the novel, The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Pearl is the daughter of Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale, the result of their secret sin. As a result of the sin Pearl's mother is forced to wear the letter "A", embroidered in scarlet upon her chest, so all will know of her adultery. Pearl is mainly described through other characters in the novel, though Pearl's actions also play an important part in determining her character. Pearl like most people has to grow to realize that along with life comes death and with joy there is sorrow. Pearl's growth toward this realization is seen through her attitude toward her mother, her fascination with the scarlet letter, her attitude toward the town's children, her actions towards Dimmesdale, and her first encounter with death and sorrow.Pearl's mother was her only playmate, since both were considered outcast, she and her mother were extremely close. Because Pearl's mother was busy much of the time, she was left alone a great deal. Many town folk called her a wild and impish creature who may have been the offspring of a demon. Her mother tried to teach her and take control but these efforts most often failed. Meanwhile, Pearl was growing up in her own little world away from the world of reality. She, therefore, was not growing up among companions of her own age experiencing all of the feelings that go along with it.Pearl's fascination with the scarlet letter first began when she was a baby. It had been her first point of interest. When her mother bent over the cradle, Pearl's had reached up and grasped the letter upon her bosom. When she grew older, Pearl would pick flowers and throw them at her mother's bosom, if she hit the letter she would dance up and down. As Pearl grows so does her fascination with the letter. While waiting for her mother one day she made a green "A' out of seaweed on her bosom. Her mother was horrified by this, and Pearl does not seem to realize the pain she inflicts upon her mother each time she does such things. This shows how Pearl's lack of emotion prevents her from seeing strong emotion in others.Pearl's attitude toward the towns-children is hostile almost hateful. Pearl, from the very first, seems to realize that she is not to associate with the towns-children. If the children gathered in a circle about...

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