Thesis Paper The Scarlet Letter: Hawthorne Shapes Pearl's Character In A Way To Symbolize The Sins Committed By Dimmesdale And Hester.

790 words - 3 pages

The Scarlet Letter is a novel that explores both sin and the moral values it infers between man and God. Written by Nathaniel Hawthorne and published in 1850, The Scarlet Letter takes place in early Puritan Boston. The Puritan faith strongly emphasized moral values and strictly governed the people. Throughout the course of the novel, Nathaniel Hawthorne shapes Pearl's character in a way that serves as a living symbol of the sins committed by Hester and Dimmesdale, and in a similar fashion as the scarlet letter itself.Inherently, Pearl already is the most prominent piece of evidence of the adultery, as everyone in the town associates her with the vile, putrid sins they see Hester and Dimmesdale as committing. When the prominent men in town discuss whether Pearl should be taken from her mother and put into what they think is better care, they use a tone that suggests inadequacy, or a poorer standard of existence, perhaps. Out of context, one may perceive them to even speak of an animal, let alone a living, breathing human child, just as worthy of every ounce of respect that any other person should draw.Even the young children of Boston know that it is Pearl's mother who shoulders the scarlet letter, and for that they reject her as a public outcast and social inferior. Though they may not completely understand why the community shuns Pearl and her mother, the children blindly accept this fact nonetheless. This fact highlights another supporting theme of The Scarlet Letter: society acts as rails upon which persons in that society, lacking the full-confidence required to think independently, must travel on. Publicly accepted estimations of a person or group's worth are sightlessly transmitted and received by followers in society.Aside from the innate connotation that Pearl, the child of an adulteress, bears, Hawthorne furthered the tinge by actually developing her character in a way that highlights and reflects the sin that brought her into being. Pearl is the character that is most in tune with nature, as displayed when she is in the forest and plays with the plants and trees. She even manages to interact with a squirrel and his nut in a playful manner. However innocent this may seem, one must keep in mind that the forest is a place...

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