Essay on Analysis Of The Book ' The Scarlet Letter '

1426 Words Oct 23rd, 2015 6 Pages
The Demon in the Mirror: Pearl’s Role in the Scarlet Letter
In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne’s daughter Pearl is a character that holds some complexity. Pearl, who begins the novel as an infant, is shown to have an intense correlation with the scarlet letter, which Hester is forced to wear as a token of her act of adultery. Almost every interaction mother and daughter have is under the shadow of the letter in some way or another. She points it out almost every chance she gets, even refusing to interact with her mother when she’s not wearing it. A common interpretation of the text, therefore, has Pearl as a symbol of the letter, especially since Hester dresses her in crimson and gold – she is a living representation of it. However, her role in the text goes further than just the scarlet letter - her behavior and social interactions present her as “a mirror” that illuminates and exaggerates the traits and flaws of other characters, such as Hester, Dimmesdale, and other members of the community.
Hester’s perceived imperfections, such as impiety and anxiety, are exaggerated by Pearl’s interactions with her, representing the concentrated nature of their relationship. Hester is already acutely aware of how her society views her as someone who committed adultery, but Pearl, her child, aggravates her negative self-image. This is apparent when Pearl is an infant and the scarlet letter, the symbol of Hester’s adultery, is “the first object of which Pearl became aware”. She…

Related Documents