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Word Count: 1,157
Scarlet Letter- Pearl Pearls have always held a great price to mankind but no pearl had ever been earned at as high a cost to a person as Nathaniel Hawthornes powerful heroine Hester Prynne Her daughter Pearl born into a Puritan prison in more ways than one is an enigmatic character serving entirely as a vehicle for symbolism From her introduction as an infant on her mothers scaffold of shame to the stormy zenith of the story Pearl is an empathetic and improbably intelligent child Throughout the story she absorbs the hidden emotions of her mother and magnifies them for all to see and asks questions nothing but a childs innocence permit her to ask allowing Hawthorne to weave rich detail into The Scarlet Letter without making the story overly narrative Pearl is the purest embodiment of literary symbolism She is at times a vehicle for Hawthorne to express the irrational and translucent qualities of Hester and Dimmesdales illicit bond at times and at others a forceful reminder of her mothers sin Pearl Prynne is her mothers most precious possession and her only reason to live but also a priceless treasure purchased with her life Pearls strange beauty and deeply enigmatic qualities make her the most powerful symbol some feel Hawthorne ever created The product of Hesters sin and agony Pearl was a painfully constant reminder of her mothers violation of the Seventh Commandment Thou shalt not commit adultery Hester herself felt that Pearl was given to her not only as a blessing but a punishment worse than death or ignominy She is tormented by her daughters childish teasing and endless questioning about the scarlet A and its relation to Minister Dimmesdale and his maladies After Pearl has created a letter A on her own breast out of seaweed she asks her mother But in good earnest now mother dear what does this scarlet letter mean -- and why dost
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