The Scarlet letter is a novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The plot focuses on sin in the Puritan society. Hester Prynne, the protagonist, has an affair with Reverend Dimmesdale, which means they are adulterers and sinners. As a result, Pearl is born and Hester is forced to where the scarlet letter.
Pearl is a unique character. She is Hester's human form of her scarlet letter, which constantly reminds her of her sin, yet at the same time, Pearl is a blessing to have since she represents the passion that Hester once had. 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 Hibbing 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 to her child. Pearl is a unique child; she is bright beyond her years. "Pearl's wild, uncontrollable nature makes her seem more like a fairy or even a witch then a human child," (Nathaniel Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter pg. 2) which was thought by the townspeople's.
They considered Pearl as inhuman and that she was the demon child. At times, even Hester worries about Pearl and her hyperactive personality. This is not her true identity; she is actually full of light and goodness, "she is described as the beauty and mystery of nature," (Johnson: The Encircling Wilderness in The Scarlet Letter, pg. 1). Light symbolizes truth, which Pearl tries to reveal when she asked Dimmesdale to join them on the scaffold and confess his sin. The light represents passion which Pearl has, but the light runs away from Hester because of her scarlet letter.
Pearl is young and Hester only wants the best for her, so they eventually flee from Boston to Europe, to get away from the cruel environment they were in. In the Puritan society, adultery is a major sin; anyone who commits this sin would receive a harsh punishment. Hester Prynne is a great example of how Puritans viewed adultery. She is forced to wear a scarlet letter, with the letter "A" on it, standing for "Adulterer." Then Pearl is born and is already looked at as an outcast. Pearl is Hester's human form of her scarlet letter because she continually reminds her of her sin; however she is more of a blessing since she symbolizes the passion that Hester once had. Pearl is so unique from the other children, but never had the pleasure of associating with them.
She eventually gets married and deservingly lives a happy life, raising a family of her own with her husband.