The Scarlet Letter, By Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

1321 Words Nov 24th, 2014 6 Pages
A name is not just an ordinary word; in fact, it is one that holds a deeper and powerful meaning, which is why writers take a great deal of time to construct the “perfect” name. A character’s name, which is so important to the formation of a novel, possesses strength to control the flow of a story and offers an insight into the truth about a character. It can identify the personality, appearance, and behaviors of a character. In some instances, such as The Scarlet Letter, a name can foreshadow future actions and events. Since names provide information on the aspects of a character, it helps a reader to establish his or her perception of a character. By analyzing a symbolic name, the readers can grasp a better understanding of the overall meaning of the story. Regarding this idea, Nathaniel Hawthorne assigned Pearl, Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth with symbolic names to strengthen their characters.
By incorporating symbolism into her name, Nathaniel Hawthorne could emphasize the meaning of Pearl’s individual qualities. With this intention in mind, Hawthorne chose her name to symbolize the gem, the pearl, after which she is named. A pearl is a rare gem that evolves from a single grain of sand to transform into a beautiful stone. Although the pearl is aesthetically amusing to gaze at, it initially transformed inside an unsightly clam. In The Scarlet Letter, Pearl represents a metaphor for the gemstone. Pearl herself characterizes this valued gem since she possesses the…

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