Scarlet Letter- Pearl Symbolism

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The Scarlet Letter is a novel with much symbolism. One of the most complex and misunderstood symbols in the novel is Pearl, the daughter of Hester Prynne. Pearl, throughout the story, develops into a dynamic symbol - one that is always changing. Although Pearl changes, she always symbolizes evil. Pearl symbolizes evil in the story by representing God's punishment of Hester's sin, symbolizing the guilt and the scarlet letter that controls her behavior and defying Puritan laws by being cheerful and associating with nature. Pearl is a greater punishment then Hester’s “A”. First, Pearl represents God's punishment by her mocking and nagging of Hester. This is shown throughout the novel she sometimes seemed to her mother as almost a witch baby (Hawthorne 88).Second, Pearl is a baffling mixture of strong emotions with a fierce temper and a capacity for evil; with Pearl, Hester's life became one of constant nagging, and no joy. This is proven when Hester remarks to herself, "Oh Father in heaven - if thou art still my father - what is this being which I have brought into the world" (Hawthorne 89).Thirdly, Pearl represents the sins of both Hester and Dimmesdale. Proven when, Hester realizes what Pearl represents when she does not hold Pearl up in front of the "A”; she carries the child around because it is a direct reflection of her sin. Hester is, "wisely judging that one token of her shame would but poorly serve to hide another" (Hawthorne 48). Pearl in many ways is the scarlet letter. First, the scarlet letter amuses Pearl, and also controls her behavior. Shown throughout the novel Pearl is attracted to the "A,” even when she is just a baby, "her infant's eyes had been caught by the glimmering of the gold embroidery about the letter" (Hawthorne 90). Second, when Pearl is older it is evident that she truly is the scarlet letter. This is revealed when Hester throws the
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