Character Analysis Essay Pearl Scarlet Letter


although she remains calm, Pearl chases after the trouble-makers while screaming wildly. It’s anact of defense but even so, it is one of the first signs readers are given as an insight to her nature.A second occurrence takes place as Hester speaks with Chillingworth, when Pearl runs to playalong the beach. She entertains herself by bombarding seagulls with stones and lying jellyfish outin the sun to dry up. This is shown in the following quote:

 Perceiving a flock of beach-birds, that fed and fluttered along the shore, thenaughty child picked up her apron full of pebbles and, creeping from rock to rock after these small sea-fowl, displayed remarkable dexterity in pelting them.

(Hawthorne pg. 122)A final case in point of Pearl’s demeanor is evident in the way she treats her mother. While stillyoung, she one tossed flowers at her mother as a way to mock her, and she does so several moretimes throughout the novel by nagging and sometimes even ridiculing Hester. Pearl is amischievous, violent child that worries her mother and troubles her, fueling her guilt.Pearl is also stubborn, something that causes the townspeople to regard her as a strangechild. Her adamancy is most displayed toward other people, such as Governor Bellingham. InChapter VIII, the governor attempts to reach out to Pearl but the child runs away from him, jumping on the top step to escape. No one is surprised at this though, because it is quite commonfor a girl her age to act in this manner. Later on in life when she is seven years old, however,Pearl displays the same sort of unwillingness to be close to anyone other than her mother. WhenHester asks her to come and meet Mr. Dimmesdale, the child refuses and asks questionsconcerning his hand over his heart and the worth of his love for them. It is by force that Hester manages to bring Pearl over. As a last example, the scene before this must be referred to. Pearl is playing by the brook when Hester first tells her to come and speak to Reverend Dimmesdale andthis is shortly after Hester has thrown her scarlet letter to the side. Having never seen her mother 

Little Pearl—who was as greatly pleased with the gleaming armour as she had been with the glittering frontispiece of the house—spent some time looking into the polished mirror of the breastplate.

"Mother," cried she, "I see you here. Look! Look!"

Hester looked, by way of humoring the child; and she saw that, owing to the peculiar effect of this convex mirror, the scarlet letter was represented in exaggerated and gigantic proportions, so as to be greatly the most prominent feature of her appearance. In truth, she seemed absolutely hidden behind it. Pearl pointed upward, also, at a similar picture in the head-piece; smiling at her mother, with the elfish intelligence that was so familiar an expression on her small physiognomy. That look of naughty merriment was likewise reflected in the mirror, with so much breadth and intensity of effect, that it made Hester Prynne feel as if it could not be the image of her own child, but of an imp who was seeking to mould itself into Pearl's shape.

"Come along, Pearl!" said she, drawing her away, "Come and look into this fair garden. It may be, we shall see flowers there; more beautiful ones than we find in the woods."

Related Characters:Hester Prynne (speaker), Pearl (speaker)

Related Symbols:The Scarlet Letter, Pearl

Page Number and Citation: 98-99

Explanation and Analysis:

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