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Word Count: 889
In the 1600s while searching through a dusty room in the Custom House in Salem Massachusetts Nathaniel Hawthorne came across a piece of red fabric and several pages written about a woman of humiliation and shame With these few pieces of evidence and a knowledge of how it could have been Hawthorne wrote his novel The Scarlet Letter a religious and psychological allegory about a lustful sin in Colonial Boston and the years that follow Like all allegories the novel uses symbols such as little Pearl as the living scarlet letter to develop and add meaning to the story Pearls relationship with her mother Hester Prynne and the hidden relationship with her father Arthur Dimmesdale have several purposes and give Pearl important roles throughout the story This is shown in her position as the living scarlet letter the supposed demon-child and an angel of judgment of both her parents The most evident symbol Pearl represents is the scarlet letter itself The letter is embroidered with flourishes of gold-thread8230and with8230gorgeous luxuriance of fancy p 53 In the same way that the letter is beautiful Pearl is described even at such a young age as having a native grace8230coexisting with faultless beauty p 91 Aside from the common natural splendor Hester actually dresses Pearl to resemble the scarlet letter Pearls garb consisted of a crimson8230tunic8230abundantly embroidered with8230flourishes of gold-thread8230Hester had contrived it so perfectly to represent the scarlet letter in Pearls appearance p 103 Not only are there physical similarities between the child and the letter but their very meaning and the passion they both represent are similar as well Pearls name implies that she was of great price--purchased with all Hester had--her mothers only treasure p 89 Pearl had been given to Hester by God in exchange for everything he had taken from her8212everything symbolized by the scarlet letter The letter is a badge of shame and a constant reminder of the very act from which
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