Anyalization of Pearl from the "Scarlet Letter"

Essay by Bob HueselHigh School, 11th gradeB, November 1997

download word file, 5 pages 3.4

One of the most significant writers of the romantic period in American literature was

Nathaniel Hawthorne. Hawthorne wrote stories that opposed the ideas of Transcendentalism.

Since he had ancestors of Puritan belief, Hawthorne wrote many stories about Puritan New

England. His most famous story is the Scarlet Letter. This novel tells of the punishment of a

woman, Hester Prynne, who committed adultery and gave birth to Pearl. A minister of Boston,

Arthur Dimmesdale, had an affair with Hester while believing that her husband, Roger

Chillingworth, had died. However, Chillingworth did not die and appears during the early stages

of Hester's punishment.

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the character of Pearl in the Scarlet Letter. Her

whole life had many difficulties while living in Puritan New England. Furthermore, Pearl displays

much parallelism to the scarlet letter that Hester must wear. Finally, Pearl's birth intensified the

conflicts in the novel.

Clearly, Pearl becomes the symbol of all the other major characters'



The character of Pearl in the Scarlet Letter lived a very difficult life. Before the novel

begins, Hester Prynne gives birth to Pearl after having an affair with Arthur Dimmesdale, a

Puritan minister. Pearl's birth proves that Hester cheated on her husband Roger Chillingworth

provoking the stories action. The novel opens with the people of Boston staring and laughing at

Hester holding Pearl while standing on the town's scaffold. At this time, Pearl is three months

old. Years later Hester gets released from jail and lives with Pearl in the outskirts of town. Since

Hester becomes alienated from Boston, Pearl turns into 'her mother's only treasure!' (Hawthorne

76). Hester makes bright red clothes for Pearl that parallel the scarlet 'A.' At age three, Pearl

endures many laughs and jokes from other Puritan children...