Scarlet Letter Pearl Symbolism Essay

908 Words 4 Pages
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, there is an enormous amount of symbolism throughout the novel. It can be seen in the language used, the events, or the actions of different characters. However, did Hawthorne use an entire character as a symbol? Although the historical fiction novel may portray Pearl simply as Hester’s daughter and nothing more, a more in-depth analysis proves that she is much more than just another character. Despite the large amount of symbolism throughout Hawthorne’s novel, the greatest symbol that can be seen from beginning to end of the book is Pearl; she is a living representation of Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale’s sin of adultery. The idea that Pearl is a symbol of her mother’s conscience is seen constantly throughout the novel, however in a majority of three aspects in the book. First, Pearl …show more content…
Hester dressed Pearl in 'scarlet' with 'gold' thread, which made her physically look like the scarlet letter. In Chapter Seven, the author states that Pearl was clothed in "a crimson velvet tunic, of a peculiar cut, abundantly embroidered with fantasies and flourishes of gold thread"(Hawthorne, p151). Pearl was a constant reminder to Hester of her actual scarlet letter, which was “in fine red cloth, surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold thread”(Hawthorne, p80). Through both of the previous quotes, there is a visible correlation to the physical letter and how Pearl is dressed. Both wear crimson/scarlet, with flourishes of gold thread. Both quotes contain identical phrases, verbatim- fantastic flourishes of gold thread. It is less than surprising that Pearl is so often viewed as a visual symbol of the Hester’s conscience, simply because she dresses her daughter almost identically like the letter that was a punishment for her crimes of

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