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Pearl in Relation to the Scarlet Letter

             Looking upon the eyes, one quickly realizes they have found the window to the soul. The character Pearl in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter is one of great intrigue and symbolism. More than just the illegitimate daughter of two star-crossed lovers, Pearl is a living representation of the scarlet letter. Not only do her physical properties allude to this, her personality and views on life do as well.
             To truly understand Pearl, one must first understand how Pearl views her own existence. The view Pearl has on her own birth appears in the book when Reverend John Wilson asks Pearl who created her. Pearl, wise beyond her years, replies by saying ". she had not been made at all, but had been plucked by her mother off the bush of wild roses that grew by the prison door" (111). This very key event shows the reader that Pearl's view on her own existence appears to be much like that of a rose. While beautiful and wonderful in many ways, Pearl still causes her mother much pain, much like thorns of a rose puncture the soft skin of those who dare to pluck it. This in a sense being an allusion to Hester's temptation with sin. " Pearl, as being of great price, purchased with all she had" (116) This quote tells the reader that Hester has given up all she has, her life, her freedom, and even her marriage when she gives birth to Pearl.
             There are two main ways that Pearl reflects the scarlet letter, one being her physical beauty and radiance, while the other being the emotional and mental effects she has on her mother. The emotional side of Pearl reflecting the scarlet letter appears in the way Pearl acts. Pearl's vivacious spirit and inquisitive nature ends up causing her mother much anguish, much like the scarlet letter. Everyday, Hester is reminded of her sin, not just by looking at her daughter, but by observing her daughter's alienation and rebellious nature. In chapter 16 the reader observes Pearl and her mother taking a walk in the woods.

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