Scarlet Letter Motif Essay

525 Words3 Pages
(TS) The sunshine and shadow motif in The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, represents how darkness symbolizes shame, sin, and disgrace, and how sunshine symbolizes purity, innocence, and reveals sin. (Major A) Midway through the book, darkness is utilized to describe how, if it weren't for Pearl, Hester would fall even further from grace. (Minor 1) Reverend Dimmesdale expresses his thoughts to the governor of how ."..[Pear] was meant, above all things else, to keep the mother's soul alive, and to preserve her from darker depths of sin." (102) (Minor 2) The Reverend believes that Pearl brings love and innocence to Hester's life, and without her, Hester would become a darker, more sinful human being. (Minor 3) Dimmesdale goes on to express how Pearl is there to remind Hester of her fall into darkness, but also to teach her that if she raises the child to heaven, she could be redeemed back into the sunlight where her sin can be revealed and forgiven. (Trans. + Major B) This point of sunshine and shadow representing purity and sin is emphasized later in the book when Pearl and her mother are walking through the forest to meet the reverend. (Minor 1) In this scene, Pearl tells her mother that .".. the sunshine does not love [her]... Now see! There it is playing a good way off. Stand you here, and let me run and catch it. I am but a child. It will not flee from me..." (166) (Minor 2) Pearl tells her mother that the sunshine will not flee from her because she is innocent, pure, has no sin to hide, and wears nothing on her bosom. (Minor 3) Hester goes on to notice how easily Pearl absorbs the sunshine and will later give it forth again, which brightens Hester's own spirits since she cannot absorb the innocence herself. (Trans. + Major C) Hester tries to overcome the ties that bind her to her scarlet letter by realizing that Pearl is her sunshine and saving
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