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Pearl Prynne, Avenger Essay

879 words - 4 pages

Those who read “The Scarlet Letter” perceive Pearl as she who personifies her mother’s sinful extramarital affair. After all, Hester adorns her in the same manner as the infamous letter. Yet, near the end of the book Hawthorne revealed, through Reverend Dimmesdale’s final moments, another reason behind his characterization of Pearl:
“Pearl kissed his lips. A spell was broken. The great scene of grief, in which the wild infant bore a part, had developed all her sympathies; and as her tears fell upon her father's cheek, they were the pledge that she would grow up amid human joy and sorrow, nor forever do battle with the world, but be a woman in it. Towards her mother, too, Pearl's errand ...view middle of the document...

To retaliate, she laughs and tauntingly mumbles in response to his fearful queries concerning the visage of his closeted enemy. “’Dost thou mock me now?’ said the minister. ‘Thou wast not bold!—thou wast not true!’—answered the child.” (Hawthorne 171). Pearl, despite having never been told who her father was, wants the secret to be public knowledge and is willing to privately shame her parents when they refuse.
Moving to the clandestine visit in the forest, Pearl shows obnoxious displeasure with her mother’s decision to remove the scarlet “A” from her chest and let out her hair. She moves quickly from pointing and stamping her foot to “suddenly burst[ing] into a fit of passion, gesticulating violently, and throwing her small figure into the most extravagant contortions. She accompanied this wild outbreak with piercing shrieks” (Hawthorne 233-4). Pearl will not have her mother without that letter, the letter which she is twin to. By casting the scarlet and gold material to the ground, Hester has also cast aside a good portion of Pearl. The girl doesn’t want to simply slip away and build a new life of lies as her parents are planning to. Therefore, until Hester “took up the scarlet letter, and fastened it again into her bosom…gathered up the heavy tresses of her hair, and confined them beneath her cap”, Pearl would not cross the brook to her side (Hawthorne 235). Additionally, Pearl kisses her mother, a rare event indeed, but then immediately presses a kiss to the...

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