The Negative Characterization Of Pearl In The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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As the use of social media increases, it is difficult for people to cover up their mistakes because past information can be easily brought up. Just one wrong action can lead to a ruined reputation, career, and relationship. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne commits adultery with her minister Arthur Dimmesdale. Their sin gets discovered when Hester gives birth to her daughter Pearl. Once her act of sin becomes public knowledge, Hester has to live the rest of her life in loneliness and close proximity to the consequence of her past mistake. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s negative characterization of Pearl shows that the repercussions of temporary pleasure or relief are not always worth the defamation and isolation entailed. …show more content…
Even though Hester loves Pearl because Pearl was “her mother’s only treasure,” Hester’s character began to dull. She became a ghost of her former self as a way to atone for her sins. Hester is implied to be ashamed of the red symbol of sin on her chest, but her daughter enjoys making likenesses of it, and constantly asks questions about its meaning. In chapter eighteen, Hester admits to Arthur Dimmesdale that the scarlet letter was a “passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude!” (196). Hawthorne likens Hester taking off the letter to “a prisoner [who] just escaped from the dungeon of his own heart.” Hester could feel “the burden of shame and anguish” leave her body. However, Pearl throws a tantrum when she could not see the symbol on Hester’s chest. Hester does put the symbol back on, but not without second thoughts. Pearl forcing Hester to put the symbol back on brought unhappiness to Hester. It shows that no matter what Hester is feeling, the reminder of her sin, Pearl, is going to show up and force Hester to remember her shame, loneliness, and sadness. Even though Pearl is a child, she should have understood that past experiences asking her mother about the scarlet letter, and making likenesses of the scarlet letter, were only hurting her mother. Instead, she continuously makes an effort to remind her mother of what she has done. Since Pearl is Hester’s daughter, Pearl will …show more content…
This statement is made against the Puritan society he descends from. It is also a grim reminder of current society. If someone posted something that negatively reflected his or her character, he or she could never take it back or tell people to forget. Instead, they would have to live constantly reminded of one mistake. Mistakes have to be kept private in order for them to have no consequences on someone’s character. It is getting harder to keep mistakes

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