, a lovely and immortal flower, out of the rank luxuriance of a guilty passion. From the beginning of her life she is viewed as the product of a sin, as a punishment. Physically, Pearl has a beauty that became every day more brilliant, and the intelligence that threw its quivering sunshine over the tiny features of this child. Pearl is ravishing, with beauty that shone with deep and vivid tints a bright complexion, eyes possessing intensity both of depth and glow, and hair already of a deep, glossy brown, and which, in after years, would be nearly akin to black.Combining with her extreme beauty, are the lavish dresses that she wears. The exquisite dresses and her beauty cause her to be viewed as even stranger from the other typical Puritan children, whom aredressed in traditional clothing.
As a result, she is accepted by nature and animals, and ostracized by the other Puritan children. Pearl was a born outcast of the infantile world the whole peculiarity, in short, of her position in respect to other children. Pearl was not accepted by the children; her unavoidable seclusion was due to the sin of her mother.On the rare occasion that the children would show interest in Pearl she would grow positively terrible in her puny wrath, snatching up stones to fling at them Pearl plays one of the most crucial roles in The Scarlet Letter.
Hawthorne uses Pearl as an effective and dynamic character. When we were first introduced to Pearl, she was immediately drawn to the scarlet A on Hesters bosom. But the first object of which Pearl seemed to become aware was the scarlet letter on Hesters bosom! One day, as her mother stooped over the cradle, the infants eyes had been caught by the glimmering of the gold embroidery about the letter and, putting up her little hand, she grasped at it, smiling not doubtfully, but with a decided gleam. Beginning at infancy, Pearl served as a reminder of the Scarlet A on her bosom.Hawthorne shows this symbolism various times.
In Chapter 7 Pearl and Hester go to the Governors house and Pearls attire inevitably reminded the beholder of the token which Hester Prynne was doomed to wear upon her bosom. It was the scarlet letter in another form; the scarlet letter endowed with life! Pearl is dressed in a scarlet dress with gold fringe exactly resembling the scarlet A on Hesters bosom. Pearl had a natural inclination to focus on the scarlet letter, which is show in its fullest in Chapter 15. Pearl took some eel- grass, and imitated, as best as she could, on her own bosom, the decoration with which she was so familiar on her mothers.A letter, the letter A, but freshly green, instead of scarlet! Throughout Pearls continuos questions Hester has never denied the significance of the scarlet A on her bosom. However, in this scene Hester eventually has to deny its significance to Pearl after she ceaselessly confronts her mother of its significance. One of the most symbolic scenes in the novel occurs in the forest as Pearl Hester are traveling to meet Dimmesdale. Pearl remarks to Hester that the sunshine does not love you.
It runs away and hides itself, because it is afraid of something on your bosom. Sunshine, which symbolizes untroubled happiness, the approval of G-d and nature, rejects Hester because of her sin and the thing on her bosom.Therefore, Pearl constantly reminds her of her sin and her punishment. In one of the most dramatic scenes in the novel Pearl prevents Hester from escaping her sin and shame. Pearl bursts into a fit of passion and will not go to her mother until she puts the scarlet A back on her bosom and places her hair back underneath her cap.
In the one moment that Hester attempts to escape her sin, Pearl refuses to recognize and acknowledge her until she returns to the shameful mother that she has always known. Pearl is a guiltless child, with all a childs freshness and spontaneity, however to Hester is a persistent remembrance to the scarlet A, which she must bare on her bosom. There are many continuous themes in which Pearl and her actions are large contributions to their overall portrayal.The theme of alienation, which is exhibited throughout all of the main characters, is clearly seen in the descriptions of Pearl.
Pearl is always unaccepted by the community (which has already been addressed); she is shunned because of her mothers sin. This can easily be viewed by analyzing the many various ways she is described by Hawthorne, by being weird and eerie, having imaginary friends, and continuously being called elf-child. She is ostracized and alienated from the Puritan society and the children of the community, contributing largely to the theme of alienation. Another theme in which she contributes to is the theme of beauty and its portrayal. So smooth and quiet that it reflected a perfect image of her little figure, with all the brilliant picturesqueness of her beauty, in its adornment of flower and wreathed foliage, but more refined and spiritualized than the reality. This quote describes the beauty that Pearl has attained while she is playing in the forest and Hester and Dimmesdale talk.
Her natural beauty is enhanced as she approaches Hester and Dimmesdale, her mother and father. This beauty brings together the theme of love, that is present between the three, as well as the importance of shame. While Pearl approaches her mother, whom is not wearing the scarlet A and whose hair is down, she refuses to acknowledge her without her A and capped hair.
This shows Pearls dissent for beauty as a solution to sin, which is expressed in the first few chapter when Hester is lightly punished for her adultery. Pearl is amazing child, and perhaps one of the only many-sided characters in this novel. While the townsfolk and even Pearls own mother are afraid of the child, Pearl is, under close examination, a naturally inquisitive and temperamental child. Although some readers of this novel may not care to read between the lines and see beyond the labeling of demon and imp, the true Pearl is completely different from this stereotype.The real Pearl, the inquisitive, intelligent, and beautiful creature she is, becomes the symbol for salvation in this novel. Pearl may be the product of sin and filthiness, yet she possesses traits that make her an amazing child.
Indeed, Pearl is the rosebush which grows near the prison door: she is the one bright spot the prisoners of this novel see as they watch from their small windows in the dungeon of their minds.