Scarlet letter 4 =

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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In the Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Pearl serves as the "apple of Eden". She is plucked from the hands of God in heaven and sent to the mortal world as a baby "to make out its [the scarlet letter's] hidden import" (155), causing Prynne and Dimmesdale to face their consequences. Pearl functions in the story on three levels: as a real child, as a continuing symbol of Prynne and Dimmesdale's adultery, and as an allegorical figure sent to torment the sinners and direct their actions. Only Dimmesdale can "ripen" her into the woman she needs to become. Otherwise she will continually serve as a representation of their mistake.

Pearl is the rose bush that is located outside of the prison door. Although, she brings happiness to Prynne, Pearl is covered with "thorns". When Mr. Wilson asks Pearl the question of who made her, Pearl responds "that she had not been made at all, but had been plucked by her mother off the bush of wild roses, that grew by the prison-door" (95).

She is a good child, an "infant…worthy to have been brought forth in Eden; worthy to have been left there, to be the plaything of the angels" (75), but she is a "born outcast of the infantile world…an imp of evil, emblem and product of sin" (79). Her physical features did not show she is different: she has perfect arms and legs and has a native grace with innocent beauty. She is magnificent when she is displayed in her exquisite robes as her natural beauty shown through such that there was a circle of radiance around her. However, emotionally something is wrong with Pearl. If other children gather around her, she would feel the dislike from the other children, and would snatch up stones to throw...