Hester Prynne And Pearl In The Scarlet Letter

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A character within a novel can either change positively or negatively. In the novel, The Scarlet Letter, author Nathaniel Hawthorne makes use of character development technique to show how each individual changes as the novel progresses. Through the description of a character from the beginning and their development at the end of the novel, the character becomes real. This is apparent in the transgression of Hester Prynne and Pearl in the short novel. Although Pearl is portrayed to have been more humanized than Hester, Pearl influenced Hester’s transformation serving as a symbol of Hester’s conscience; a blessing and a curse.
The character of Hester Prynne struggles with coping with shame and guilt. Hester’s guilt is associated with committing
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Pearl is described as an intelligent child but also disrespectful, rebellious, with a “devilish spirit”. These characteristics associate her with sin and evil. Her behavior reflects the unacceptable and sinful nature of Hester’s adulterous act. When walking through the cemetery in chapter 10 Pearl begins to dance on top of burrs, while Hester begged her to behave. Pearl being the resistant child that she is, “stopped to pick the prickly burrs from a plant…arranged them around the scarlet letter that decorated her mother’s bosom. The burrs. As is their nature, held fast” (chap.10 pg.163). As the burrs cling when placing them around the letter, Hester does brush them off accepting moral responsibility. Pearl once again adds to her pain and guilt aware of the significance behind the letter and how it effects Hester. Her disobedience in this part and previous parts of the novel also represents Hester’s act of disobedience against Puritan values. In a sense Pearl would like for Hester to embrace her sin as she continues to mature by constantly asking about the significance of the scarlet letter. Hawthorne continuously uses Pearl to awaken Hester’s conscience through her actions and mocking of the scarlet

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