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The Scarlett Letter, And Its Power Over Pearl.

1171 words - 5 pages

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne describes how so many people can be affected in such a huge magnitude by curse, in the form of a scarlet letter. Although it is Hester and Dimmesdale that have brought their punishment upon themselves, it is Pearl, their daughter, whom must be the puppet of the letter. All her actions, from her playing to thinking, are controlled by its never ending needs. The struggles that Pearl must undergo are many, and soon turn her evil. All these are what make Pearl the living manifestation of the scarlet letter.Pearl was a very beautiful girl, and the scarlet letter left her mark in the child's spirit. How beautiful the child is can be assumed from Hester "naming the infant "Pearl," as being of great price--purchased with all she had--her mother's only treasure!" The reflection of her mother can be seen in all her physical features, from her beautiful eyes to her long, rich hair. Although Hester was very beautiful, she hid her light from the world by wearing dull clothes, and tucking away her long hair underneath a cap. But Pearl's attire "was distinguished by a fanciful, or, we might rather say, a fantastic ingenuity, which served, indeed to heighten her airy charm." It is hinted that Pearl is a miniature version of Hester, with everything embedded into her, even the scarlet letter. Even though she knows not what the scarlet letter means, it makes her what she is, and flows through her veins. The very idea that the scarlet letter is in her, drives Pearl to find her new fascination in life unconsciously.Hester would have loved to rid the curse of the letter from her, but the fact remained that all created by the scarlet letter is part of it. Unfortunately, this included Pearl, but never did she realize the curse of it because "since infancy, her eyes had been caught by the glimmering of the gold embroidery about the letter...she grasped it and smiled." From that point on, a question ate at Pearl, what does the letter mean? Her fascination with Hester's curse never ceased, and it became one of her life's curiosities. Loving the scarlet letter so much, she went far enough as to take "some eelgrass, and imitated, as best she could, on her own bosom, the decoration with which she so familiar with...the letter "A"." It is as though Pearl is chasing the "A" and will not stop until she finds out what it means. While Pearl is chasing it, Hester is running away from it. Pearl's fascination with the scarlet letter quickly turns into an obsession, and reflects her in a totally different way.Pearl's obsession with the "A" changes her personality, making her a different person all together. Pearl was a variety of things; it was as though that "in this one child there were many children." She seemed to understand ideas that to other children her age would have out of their reach. Pearl also shows much trust in her mother, believing all she says to be carved in stone. Pearl believed whole heartedly that "she had not been made at...

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