The Living Symbol, Pearl

Essay by spudheadHigh School, 12th gradeA+, April 1997

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about Pearl being a living symbol to Hester. -

Pearl. A child born of sin. Conceived by lust. Created by impurity.

As the result of her parents fall from grace, she represents the sinfulness of their act, and is a continual tool for the recollection of their dubious deed. Sent, was she, from the Almighty God as a gift, and a burden of the heart.

' 'God gave me the child?' cried she. 'He gave her in requital of all things else, which ye had taken from me. She is my happiness!- she is my

torture, none the less! See ye not, she is the scarlet letter, only capable of being loved, and so endowed with a million fold the power of retribution for my sin? Ye shall not take her! I will die first!''(109)...

... ' 'There is truth in what she says,' began the minister, with a voice sweet, tremulous, but powerful, insomuch that the hall reechoed, and the hollow armor rang with it - 'truth in what Hester says, and in the feeling which inspires her!''(110)...

... ' 'It must be even so,' resumed the minister.''... ' 'This child of its father's guilt and its mother's shame hath come from the hand of God, to work in many ways upon her heart, who pleads so earnestly, and with such bitterness of spirit, the right to keep her. It was meant, doubtless, as the mother herself hath told us, for a retribution too; a torture to be felt at many an unthought-of moment; a pang, a sting, an ever-recurring agony, in the midst of a troubled joy! Hath she not expressed this thought with the garb of the poor child, so forcibly reminding us of that red symbol which sears her bosom?''(110-111).

Pearls gestures, and the essence...