Pearl as Living Symbol in The Scarlet Letter
Pearl. A child born of sin. Conceived by lust. Created by
As the result of her parents fall from grace, she represents the
sinfulness of their act, and is a continual tool for the recollection of
their dubious deed. Sent, was she, from the Almighty God as a gift, and a
burden of the heart.
"'God gave me the child?' cried she. 'He gave her in requital of
all things else, which ye had taken from me. She is my happiness!- she is
my torture, none the less! See ye not, she is the scarlet letter, only
capable of being loved, and so endowed with a million ...view middle of the document...
In giving her
existence, a great law had been broken, and the result was a being whose
elements where perhaps beautiful and brilliant, but all in disorder."...
"Above all, the warfare of Hester's spirit, at that epoch, was perpetuated
in Pearl. She could recognize her wild, desperate, defiant mood, the
flightiness of her temper, and even some of the very cloud-shapes of gloom
and despondency that had brooded in her heart. They were now illuminated
by the morning radiance of a young child's disposition, but later in the
day of earthly existence, might be prolific of the storm and
Due to her child's elfish antics, Hester often ponders on the
thought of Pearl being something of the supernatural. Could it be that
because the terms of conception were so corrupted that the child born
there of has the personality or soul of an impish creature?
"'Child, what art thou?' cried the mother.
"'O, I am your little Pearl!' answered the child.
But while she said it, Pearl laughed, and began to dance up and
down, with the humorsome gesticulation of a little imp whose next freak
might be to fly up the chimney.