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Word Count: 1,077
The Scarlet Letter Pearls have always held a great price to mankind but no pearl has 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 Pearl is an empathetic and 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 at times is a vehicle for Hawthorne to express the irrational qualities of Hester and Dimmesdales illicit bond and at others a forceful reminder of her mothers sin Pearl Prynne is Hesters 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 an increadably powerful symbol 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 both as a blessing and also a punishment worse than death 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 thou wear it on thy bosom -- and why does the minister keep his hand over his heart
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