Pearl: A Metaphor in Human Form

10/15/07

 


Pearl: A Metaphor in Human Form

            After the essay test on Friday,
Pearl has become one of the most interesting characters in the novel and one of my favorites. The essay question really made me think about
Pearl as an important character in the book.
Pearl is a very controversial aspect of the book because there are so many ways to interpret her character. Pearl’s character is
Hawthorne’s own metaphor throughout the book. Even the name
Pearl has significance throughout the book.

           
Pearl is the embodiment of the Scarlet Letter; she is the consequence of what happened between Hester and Dimmesdale. She is what caused the uproar and chaos in the town. However one perceives the scarlet letter that is how one perceives
Pearl. The two go hand in hand. Basically Hawthorne uses
Pearl as a symbol.

            Pearl is a very unique child in a town of uniformity, hence the name
Pearl. The word pearl itself means a very precious unique and valuable object. This applies to
Pearl because she is very precious and valuable to Hester, and as I said before she is a very unique child. Pearls are also created with care, and
Pearl herself was created as a result of Dimmesdale and Hester’s love.
Pearl is also described as beautiful (in chapter 6), just like a pearl.

            As I said before
Pearl embodies the scarlet letter, and the actions behind it. The Scarlet Letter in the first chapters was described as very extravagant and colorful, and not surprisingly, Hester dresses
Pearl in very glamorous robes. A historical fact is that in the Puritan Community ornate things are considered sinful (meaning Pearl’s clothes are no acceptable), and
Pearl metaphorically represents sin.

            The “A” means something different to the community than it does to Hester. In away the meaning of the scarlet letter is misunderstood, causing
Pearl to be misunderstood. The scarlet letter changes between a positive and negative meaning.
Pearl also goes through major meltdowns and happy moments, in a bipolar sort of manner.
Pearl’s constant mood swings and tantrums cause her to be labeled as a wild child, and is not well liked amongst her peers.
Pearl’s rejection from the community can also be linked to the rejection from Dimmesdale who refuses to acknowledge her.

            There are some many layers to
Pearl’s character, and I would love to write an essay about her. I think that Pearl was
Hawthorne’s best creation within the novel.

           

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