Pearl And Teacake: A Comparison
Those we love are the most capable of hurting us. We place with them our trust, we lay ourselves bare to them, so that only they can see us for who we are. But when they hurt us, that hurt stings more deeply, and stays longer than any other. Examining the books "Their Eyes Were Watching God", and "The Scarlet Letter", we can easily compare Hester and Janie. More subtle than these main characters are those that influence them the most, Pearl and Teacake. Pearl is Hester's, the adulterer, daughter; and Teacake is Janie's final husband, and the one person who allows Janie to be an individual. While the differences are obvious between these two characters, their similarities are even more striking. These include: their free spirits; their mischievousness; and the pain they inflict on their loved ones.
If one main characteristic was to bind Pearl and Teacake together, it would be their free spirits.
Pearl acts on her whims, and does as she pleases, regardless of the repercussions or the thoughts of the townspeople. "But Pearl, who was a dauntless child, after frowning, stamping her foot, and shaking her little hand with a variety of threatening gestures, suddenly made a rush at the knot of her enemies and put them all to flight." (Hawthorne, 92) In this quote, Pearl displays her typical capricious behavior in attacking the offending group of children. The only character in Their Eyes Were Watching God with such unparalleled free-spiritedness is Teacake. Teacake also acts on his whims regardless of cultural taboos. Teacake decides to teach Janie to play checkers, a game only played by men. "'Dis de last day for dat excuse. You got uh board round heah?'" (Hurston, 95) Free-spirits among a world ruled by boundaries,