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Word Count: 563
Most novels usually have a main symbol which teaches a character or the reader a very important lesson or moral This is true in Nathaniel Hawthornes classic The Scarlet Letter where Hester Prynnes daughter Pearl serves as the most extensive living symbol in the entire novel She is much more of a symbol than an actual character Pearl symbolizes Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdales concealed love affair and plays a key character in The Scarlet Letter as well Little Pearl the so-called elf child is the daughter and result of the minister Arthur Dimmesdale and Hester Prynnes unthinkable sin of adultery She is an imaginative intelligent little girl who is full of life and shows a rich and luxuriant beauty a beauty that shone with deep and vivid tints She is a living breathing child who can see and talk The only real characteristics that prove she is an actual person are shown by her emotions she has a very unfavorable temper and usually ends up getting her way by throwing tantrums For example in the forest scene she sees her mothers scarlet letter discarded on the ground fusses and screams for her to put it back on which eventually Hester does Pearl is obviously a definite person but she is also a definite symbol of many things First she is a distinct symbol of the relationship between Hester and Dimmesdale She is a representative of the passion which came with Hesters sin of adultery Second she is an active reminder of Hesters sin besides the letter A on her breast And lastly Pearl becomes mesmerized by her mothers scarlet letter She pelts the letter with flowers covering the mothers breast with hurts for which she could find no balm in this world Pearls inevitable tendency to hover about the enigma of the scarlet letter is fully developed when Pearl imitates her mother by placing a seaweed letter A on
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