Pearl

’s Contribution To The Scarlet Letter Essay, Research Paper Pearl’s Contribution to the Scarlet Letter In Hawthorne’s epic novel, The Scarlet Letter he discusses Pearl, a

’s Contribution To The Scarlet Letter Essay, Research Paper

Pearl’s Contribution to the Scarlet Letter

In Hawthorne’s epic novel, The Scarlet Letter he discusses Pearl, a

main character, and her contribution in making the novel a romantic one.

Hawthorne uses three types of romantic topics relating to Pearl. Stereotypical

characters, supernaturalness of characters, and the imaginary aspect of

characters are all qualities of romantic language Hawthorne uses to better

develop Pearl’s character. Over the course of the novel Hawthorne uses all of

the aspects of romantic language to unfold the life of Pearl and how she acts

having these qualities.

Pearl’s quality of being a stereotypical character makes her blend into

some situations and not into others. Pearl was portrayed as a stereotypical

“victim of Hester’s sin”, adultery, because as she walks through town with her

mother the other kids shout and curse at her. Pearl takes it in stride and

defends her mother and fends off the evil children. The adults of Boston,

mostly Puritans, talk behind Hester’s back about the child being one of a

sinner. Another common stereotype filled by Pearl is whenever an adult is

occupied with something then the child finds something to do. When Hester

went to the woods to meet with Dimmesdale, Pearl went off to play in the

brook while the two adults talked and then she stopped when her mother

called. A second example is when Pearl accompanied her mother to the

seashore where they met Chillingworth, Pearl wandered off by herself and

occupied her time by playing with seaweed and the various animal life that

happened to be around. Children can also notice small differences in their

surroundings that are normally familiar to them. When Hester and

Dimmesdale where in the woods and decided to flee Boston and travel to

Europe, Hester removed her scarlet letter happily and threw it into the brook.

When she called to Pearl to tell her the news of them leaving Boston, Pearl

went into fits of rage and temper tantrums and would not come to her mother.

This was because she was so used to seeing the scarlet letter on her mother’s

bosom. Pearl’s quality of being stereotypical, compared to all children and

characters in general, is highly unlikely and only adds to the amount of

romanticism in the novel.

The supernatural aspect of Pearl makes her out to be what many of us

would call monsters or beings from fairy-tales. Pearl is considered by the

denizens of Boston to be a “devil-child” and not belonging in such a society.

She is also referred to as an “imp” as well as being “elf-like” and that she

would be void of “human joy and sorrow”. Although she may have been

supernatural to the readers of the novel and perchance to the Puritans of

Boston, this all is washed away in the final chapters as she begins to show

warmth and caring. This was the completely different than the image created

at the beginning of the novel. Hawthorne’s awareness to this supernatural

appearance makes this one of the most interesting aspects of romantic

language in novels.

Children are known for the things they do, but it is taken for granted

that all children are like this, but not Pearl because of the imaginary

characteristics that Hawthorne gives her. First of all, at a very young age,

Pearl became interested in the true meaning of her mother’s scarlet letter.

Small children do not usually become interested in complicated topics such as

adultery, and Pearl became more persistent when her mother tried to ignore

her repeated attempts to find the meaning. Pearl also became interested in

finding her real father and took an interest in Dimmesdale. She was assuming

that he was her father, and she kept questioning him on whether or not he

would hold hands with her and then join them on the scaffolding each

afternoon. Most children do not show affection so openly to other people, like

Pearl did. Finally at the end of the novel, when Dimmesdale was dying, Pearl

bent over and placed a kiss upon his forehead, out of the kindness of her heart.

Children may kiss people out in public, but not anyone who had previously

locked their loving feelings inside and who have been referred to as monsters.

These examples of how Pearl was portrayed as being imaginary, give

character to Pearl and make her a well rounded person in the novel as well as

to give meaning to why Hawthorne put her in the novel.

Pearl is the character who makes this novel a romance and Hawthorne ,

who tries and succeeds in using Pearl as a link between Dimmesdale and

Hester, because of her romantic qualities. He wanted her to be different from

all the other children, but still have the qualities of a normal child. I think

Hawthorne wanted her to be a bridge of emotions for Hester, for when Hester

thought that life could no longer go on, Pearl would step in and cheer her up.

Hawthorne’s well developed characters, especially Pearl, made the novel one

that was interesting to read as well as discuss.

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