Essay title: Scarlet Letter – a Novel Written by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Pearl is Hester’s human form of her scarlet letter; both she and the scarlet letter constantly remind Hester of her sin of adultery. Pearl is the result of Hester’s adultery; therefore she has a strong connection with the scarlet letter.
As a young girl, Pearl had always had a fascination and obsession with her mother’s scarlet letter. For example “In the forest scene when Hester takes off the Scarlet letter, Pearl becomes frantically disturbed and won’t quiet down until Hester has it back on her dress, as if by discarding the letter Hester has discarded Pearl,” (Johnson: A Literary Analysis of The Scarlet Letter, pg.1). The scarlet letter is a part of Hester, as is Pearl, if Hester removes the letter, she also disowns Pearl. The only way Pearl recognize her mother is when she has the letter on.
Hester dresses Pearl in red so she can represent her scarlet letter.In the chapter, “The Governor’s Hall,” Pearl was described; “The child’s whole appearance reminded the beholder of the token which Hester Prynne was doomed to wear upon her bosom. It was the scarlet letter in another form; the scarlet letter endowed with life!” (The Scarlet Letter, pg. 103 Johnson: Understanding The Scarlet Letter pg.1). Although Pearl is looked at as the result of Hester’s sin, she is a blessing to her mother as well.
Her name, “Pearl,” is fitting because of what she means to Hester. For instance “Hester names her”Pearl” because she has come to great price, and Hester believed that Pearl is her only reason for living,” (Johnson: Understanding The Scarlet Letter pg.1). Pearl motivates her mother to keep on going when she is tempted to give up. In the novel, Mistress Hibbins asks Hester to join her in a witches gathering, but she declines saying if she had lost Pearl, she would have gone.
Even though Hester lost so much because of Pearl, it was all worth it because she is her mother’s only treasure. Hester loves Pearl so much because she represents the passion that she once had. It seems that when Pearl was born, the passion and personality of Hester was transferred.