Because Pearl’s conception is a constant reminder of what brought her into the world, the Puritan’s equate her to sin and evil; however, this is a misinterpretation of who she really is. In the Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Pearl is seen as an unworldly creature, incapable of any good. Her personality is unusual and difficult to comprehend, which prompts the puritanical society to question her ethical development. Pearl is constantly viewed as a mischievous elf-child by all the Puritans in Boston, yet Hawthorne intensely compares her to a glorious work of art.
She is the representation of the Scarlet letter in uman form. A child who is as significant as little Pearl, is clearly misunderstood by the colony Protestants. Pearl is often misjudged by all who surround her. Even the town’s children quickly discover that Pearl is quite different from them. “the little Puritans. had got a vague idea of something outlandish, unearthly, or at variance with ordinary fashion, in the mother and child”(Hawthorne 97), since the two are so different from the rest of the colony they are forever outcasts from everyone else.
The uncertainty of Pearl’s Christian nurture reveals itself at Governor Bellingham’s elaborate home. Little Pearl is asked one simple question about her creator and father. Her inability to respond the minister’s question properly, causes the men to question whether Hester is capable of attending Pearl’s troublesome behavior. The Governor immediately presumes that Pearl has a corrupt spirit, and fate. “she is equally in the dark as to her soul, its present depravity, and future destiny. ” Bellingham does not only misapprehends the three year old child, he exaggerates her wickedness.
His actions toward the toddler mirrors the community’s perspective on the child,whom claim they are the purest of all people. Despite all he accusations society has declared toward Pearl she has plenty good and superior qualities within her. When Pearl and Hester finally leave Bellingham’s miniature palace they encounter Mistress Hibbins, the ill tempered sister of the Governor. She asks Hester, whether she would creep out into the forest that very night, and sign her name in the Black Man’s book.
Hester replies to Miss Hibbins’ invitation, by telling her that if Pearl would have been taking way, she would have gladly gone with her. An infant that is said to be evil and un- earthlike, could not possibly save a human from Lucifer’s reach, evertheless she is the very reason Hester did not sell her soul to the devil. Hester’s would have been lost without her kin as well Minister Dimmesdale. Minister Dimmesdale; one of thee most saint like figures of Boston, and of the Puritan community is the undiscovered father of the Pearl.
Their first public encounter is when Dimmesdale speaks on Hester’s behalf so she may keep her child, when he does, little Pearl willingly comes to him, takes his hand, and lays her cheek against it. Pearl does not understand that the man who she shows affection towards is her father, but eels an instant connection to the man who is secretly trying to protect her. After this occurrence she does not see Dimmesdale until later in the novel, when the three of the stand on the scaffold. ”
Wilt thou stand here with mother and me, tomorrow noontide ? Inquired Pearl”, she asks the Minister if he is ready to stand with them in front the entire township, and reveal his true identity. Pearl’s harmless question triggers Dimmesdale’s conscience to overcome his fear and come clean. Although Dimmesdale is not yet ready for such a courageous act, he does confront the community on his Election Day sermon. Before Dimmsdale takes his last breaths, Pearl bestows the kiss that she has withheld from him, know her father is finally at peace. Pearl being the offspring of an immense lawbreaker has provided tranquility for the two beings closest to her.
Although Pearl Prynne is the daughter of Hester Prynne,the greatest sinner in the community, she is immensely compared to everything dealing with beauty and mystical. “Certainly, there was no physical defect. By its perfect shape, its vigor, and its natural dexterity in the use of all its untried limbs, the infant was worthy to have been brought forth in Eden”(93). While the Puritan view the child as elf-like, she is nothing of the sort. The Puritans see is a distorted child, created by their own imaginations. Pearl, an infant worthy of being the playmate of the angels.
Everyone, even her mother sees an unpleasant evilness, but is nothing less of perfect. As Pearl’s develops, her characters become more alluring and striking than ever before. Hester carefully examines her daughter’s development, searching for a physical defect. ” as she watched the growth, and the beauty that became every day more brilliant and the intelligence that threw its quivering unshine over the tiny feature of this child”(92). Pearl has absolutely no flaws physically, and is a perfectly healthy child. The rumors spread through the multitude about little Pearl either true nor reasonable.
As she grows the lively, brilliant portion of nature is attracted to her. “ the light lingered about the lonely child. As if glad of such a playmate, until her mother had drawn almost nigh enough to step into the magic circle too” (192), the sunlight is only attracted to Pearl when she is being friendly. The light is not lured by any other human being than innocent little pearl, when Hester is near the light isappears, not wanting to be near the wicked personage. Pearl’s traits do not only align with good and evil, she has an inexplicable connection with the letter A.
Pearl personality identical to the letter on her mother’s bosom. Little Pearl is the living symbol of the scarlet letter. Even as a child she represented the letter, since she was the end result of the sinful act. The A has the tendency to drive the people away, and so does little Pearl. “But Pearl, who was a dauntless child, after frowning, stamping her foot, and shaking her little hand with a variety of threatening gestures, suddenly made a rush at he knot of her enemies, and put them all to flight. “(106) While the letter secluded her from the human body, Pearl physically drives them out of her sight.
Another custom that they both share is always being near Hester. She does not leave her cottage without her tiny companion or the embroidered token on her chest. Both of them protect Hester for the cruelty of those who surround her. As well as having a common characteristic with the letter, she also has a strong connection to it. In the forest, Hester finally unlatches the clasp that fastened the letter to her bosom, and took of the cap that confined all of er beautiful dark hair. She instantly feels free and a huge weight lifted of her shoulders.
Hester wants Dimmesdale to know Pearl as she really is; his daughter, she calls out to the child patiently waiting for her to approach. But Pearl does not come to her mother, instead she keeps her distance staring at her mother’s chest. “Pearl stretched out her hand, with the small forefinger extended, and pointing evidently towards her mother’s breast” (219), she is unsure what to think of her mother without the essential attachment. All of her life she has known and recognized her mother by the letter. ” Thou strange hild, why dost thou not come to me? ‘ Exclaimed Hester” (219).
Pearl will not step forward without the scarlet letter back on her mother’s bosom. The moment Hester returns the scarlet letter to its rightful place Pearl runs towards her and kisses her on the cheek and on the scarlet letter, knowing that her mother’s true self has returned. Perhaps the view on little Pearl is judged fairly, since she exposes so many similarities to her mother Hester. For one she has the same physical figure of her mother, she also is the one person in the world is is with her at all times. Even is she wasn’t her mother’s child she has a wild nature in er personality.
For example on the day of the serum Pearl is seen running around allowing her imagination to flow naturally as she entertains herself, meanwhile the Puritans stare and smile at her. Even at play the child is unpredictable and demon like. “She ran and looked the wild Indian in the face; and he grew conscious of a nature wilder than his own” (255). Near the end of the novel Pearl has grown to be seven and is more untamed than ever. The older the child grows the more furious she becomes. Ultimately Pearl’s future is unknown too all except Hester. Pearl is seen differently through the entire novel.
The fact that she represents the scarlet letter makes her both good and evil. The scarlet letter was meant to bring shame and humiliate Hester, but in the end it made her stronger. Pearl was seen as a curse but to Hester she is a blessing, and her loving elf companion. At first the letter was an unpleasant item, much like Pearl, but in conclusion they both made Hester an exceeding human being. The reason why Pearl was seen so differently was because she represented the scarlet letter and she was prejudge by everyone, yet she was just a child wanting to be loved by her mother and father.