Pearl is one of the most complex and misunderstood symbols in the book,
the daughter of Hester Prynne. Pearl, throughout the story, develops into
a dynamic symbol - one that is always changing. Pearl was a source of many
different kinds of symbolism. From being a living scarlet letter, to a
valuable thing with high price, then to the moral in this novel. She was
a kind of burden, yet love for Hester.
The most significant symbolic meaning of Pearl in the novel is her association
with the scarlet letter "A". When Hester stood fully revealed before the
crowd, it is her first impulse to clasp Pearl closely to her bosom; "not
so much by an impulse of motherly affection, as that she might thereby
conceal a certain token, which was wrought or fastened into her dress."
"In a moment, however, wisely judging that one token of her shame would
but poorly serve to hide another, she took the baby on her arm..."
Hester embroidered the scarlet letter with gold thread fantastically, and
she had allowed the gorgeous tendencies of her imagination their full playing
contriving Pearl's garb. "and, indeed, of the child's whole appearance,
that it irresistibly reminded the beholder of the token which
was doomed to wear upon her bosom." Pearl really was the scarlet
letter, the scarlet letter in another form; the scarlet letter endowed
Pearl is a girl of rich and luxuriant beauty. "There was fire in her
and throughout her, she seemed the unpremeditated offshoot of a passionate
moment." The Bible says," the kingdom of heaven is like merchant in
search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and
sold all that he had and bought it." Hester named the infant
"pearl", as being of...