The Scarlet Letter is a novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The novel is about Hester Prynne, a woman who is shunned by her Puritan community after she has an affair and gives birth to a child out of wedlock. The novel follows Hester as she struggles to survive in her small town while raising her daughter, Pearl. The Scarlet Letter is ultimately a story about redemption and forgiveness, and how even the most seemingly unforgivable acts can be redeemed through love and understanding.
While the novel does focus on Hester’s journey, it also paints a picture of the Puritan community in which she lives. The Puritans are a pious people who follow strict religious laws. They are quick to judge and condemn those who break their laws, and they show little mercy. The novel explores the hypocrisy of the Puritan community, and how their self-righteousness leads to more harm than good.
The Scarlet Letter is a timeless classic that speaks to universal truths about human nature. The story is relevant today as it was when it was first published, and it will continue to be relevant for many years to come.
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter is rich in symbolism. Symbolic meanings and ideas are represented by each character in the book. However, Pearl, Hester Prynne’s daughter, emerges as the novel’s primary symbol.
The scarlet letter itself is a symbol which Hester has to endure and wear for the rest of her life. The “A” on her chest represents the sin of adultery which she committed. The Puritans in Boston are very harsh towards sinners and they make sure that everyone knows about their wrongdoings. The novel takes place in the 1700s where religion played a big role in people’s lives. People were judged harshly and it was difficult to move on from your mistakes. In The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne uses Pearl as a symbol of hope, truth, and righteousness.
Pearl is first introduced in the novel as an infant and she is immediately associated with the scarlet letter. Hester named her Pearl because she is “the scarlet letter made alive” (Hawthorne, 95). The Puritans see her as a curse and they believe that she is evil. Hester tries to protect Pearl from the judgment of others and she raises her the best way she can. Even though Pearl is seen as a symbol of sin, she also represents hope. Hester hopes that Pearl will be a reminder of her sin and help her to be a better person.
Throughout the novel, Hawthorne uses Pearl to represent different aspects of truth. For example, when Hester is talking to Dimmesdale about confessing their sin, Pearl asks him why he has not “done so already” (Hawthorne, 194). She knows that he is hiding something and she represents the truth that is within him. Pearl also shows the truth about Hester’s character when she says that her mother is “false” (Hawthorne, 188). Hester has been hiding her true self from the world and Pearl represents the part of her that is honest.
In addition to hope and truth, Hawthorne also uses Pearl to represent righteousness. In The Scarlet Letter, righteousness is associated with light and Pearl is often described as being “light-hearted” (Hawthorne, 95). She is a reminder of Hester’s sin, but she also represents the good that can come from it. Pearl is a symbol of Hester’s redemption and she helps her to find her way back to God.
However, it is worth noting that the novel’s plot progresses in an entirely different direction. The Puritan laws of dress and behavior are often mocked by Hester, who has a wardrobe which would make a Parisian model jealous. Despite her increasingly worrisome condition, she continues to ignore the rules and connect with nature and being over-joyous. Pearl is a young girl who is somewhat clever but has a terrible temper.
The Puritans would say that she is the devil’s child, and they are not too far from the truth. The fact that Hester named her Pearl implies that she was not really thinking of a name for her daughter, but more like what she could call her to reflect her own thoughts on the child. The meaning of pearl is “something precious” which clearly reflects on how Hester felt about her daughter, even if she was not proud of what she had done. Pearl constantly demands attention and always tries to be the center of attention, whether it is good or bad.
When Hawthorne describes Pearl, he often uses words such as “elf-like”, “unearthly” and “ethereal” which all suggest that she is not of this world, and possibly even supernatural. The Puritans also see her this way, and they are terrified of her. They believe that she has the power to bewitch them, and they go out of their way to avoid her. Even Hester is afraid of Pearl at times, and she tells her that she will turn into a devil if she does not behave.
Pearl is also a very important symbol in the novel. She represents Hester’s sin, and the scarlet letter itself. She is a constant reminder of what Hester has done, and she is a living representation of the scarlet letter. Pearl is also a symbol of hope and redemption. Hester sees Pearl as a reminder that she can be forgiven for her sin, and that there is still hope for her.
Hester, as a single mother of this kid, was under a lot of pressure and guilt. She says to God: “Oh Father in heaven- if you are still my father- what is this creature I have brought into the world?” This line nicely conveys Hester’s emotions at the time when she was forced to seclusion from society under tons of ridicule. However, Hester does not give up on her good habits. She continues to assist many people in town by being honest and upright, constantly reflecting on her wrongdoing.
The scarlet letter was meant to be a punishment, but Hester uses it as a symbol of her strength and capability to help others. The more she suffers, the more compassionate she becomes. The scarlet letter also has a second meaning, which is able to bring Dimmesdale and Hester together. The meaning of the scarlet letter changes throughout the book, going from sin and shame, to ability and strength, and finally to love. The scarlet letter is one of the most world-renowned books ever written because of its deep meanings and ability to change people’s perspectives.
It teaches people that no matter how terrible their past may be, they can still move forward and have a bright future ahead. The idea that someone can be both good and bad is a very important lesson to learn. The book also shows how Puritan society was hypocritical in many ways. The scarlet letter is a timeless classic that will continue to be read and appreciated by people all over the world.