What Is Pearl in the Scarlet Letter

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Pearl: the Constant Reminder In the 1650's the strict Puritan community, in Boston Massachusetts punished those who sinned. In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, the main character, Hester, is punished and looked down upon for committing adultery. When Hester has her baby, Pearl, The Puritans see her as having a bit of evil in her. Pearl, who is a constant reminder to Hester about the sin she had committed, is a significant symbol in this novel. In the beginning of the novel, Pearl always reminds Hester of her sin, even though she does not mean to do so purposely. Every time Hester has a conversation with Pearl, she has to reconsider the life she has chosen for herself, in her solitude, causing her to be tense and often frustrated. The reason being, is Pearl is a curious child and always ask "what does the letter mean, mother? - and why dost thou wear it?" (277). Pearl not knowing any better and being a child, she always brings up the letter worn on Hester's bosom. Hester knows she is a curious child and wants to know the meaning of the letter A, but it creates tension between them. Hester is not ready to tell young Pearl about the meaning of the letter, and lies to her by saying "I wear it for the sake of the gold-thread" (277.) By not telling Pearl she gets even more curious and determined to ask Hester about the letter A. This causes Hester to get more and more frustrated and a bit annoyed with Pearl. Pearl was seen as an outcast to the Puritans, they even said she was " an imp of evil, emblem of product of sin, she had no right among Christian infants" (140.) Pearl herself knew she was different, and seen as an outcast, because of this she had no friends and soon made up friends with her imagination. Being a little girl which Pearl is, she entertained herself by gathering wild- flowers and throwing them intentionally at Hester's letter A. Hester

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