The Punishment Of Pearl In The Scarlett Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Having a child is typically a joyous, monumental time most people get to experience in their lives. Bringing another human into this world is looked upon as a blessing, not as a sin. In The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne is accused of committing adultery in a Puritan society. Out of this sinful act she has a daughter named Pearl who the community does not support. In fact, the Puritan society as a whole views Pearl as product of sin that, in return, will teach Hester a lesson. At a superficial glance, Pearl functions as an effective punishment for Hester because she prevents her mother from rebelling further, however, Pearl actually functions as an ineffective punishment since Hester remains unrepentant; This demonstrates …show more content…
A Puritan would claim that Hester deserves this kind of behavior from her child and should expect even worse because she was made out of sin. Both mother and daughter should suffer the consequences of the action that took place, even if she is a child and doesn’t understand the severity of the sin as a whole. The Puritans believe this is not just an ordinary child’s bad behavior because it has to connect to why Hester is a sinner and should be shameful for her child, “Hester knows that the social authorities are viewing Pearl as a devil-figure, and they see her daughter’s connection with nature as proof of her mother’s misdeeds coming out in the actions of her offspring” (Daniels 223). They believe that Hester has already tarnished her reputation and Pearl will never let her turn a new leaf because Pearl is the product of Hester’s sin which she must now suffer …show more content…
This can be exhibited when Hester arranges to run away with Dimmesdale even though he was her partner in the sin. This leads to the fact that Hester didn’t learn from having Pearl that committing adultery with Dimmesdale was unacceptable. Hester also feels that Pearl is not the product of her sin and that she she have the opportunity to be more than her mother’s mistake. This goes against the Puritan belief that Pearl is a punishment to Hester because she is a naughty child, unlike the others, because she was produced from the devil’s work. In both cases it can be proved that when someone perseveres and restrains other’s thoughts from flooding their mind they end up being stronger and continuing to practice their

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