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Word Count: 736
Often throughout The Scarlet Letter there are symbolic references made The story deals with a Puritan woman who commits adultery and raises an illegitimate child named Pearl The author Nathanial Hawthorne seems to be rather fond of using religious and natural images to symbolize different points possibly because of his own Puritan background One of the purposes of this symbolism is to show that Puritanism is hypocritical and that their religious viewpoints are against the natural order which is done by using contrasting natural and religious symbols in the descriptions of Pearl First Hawthorne uses the backdrop of the natural world to show not only that Pearl is anonymous to the Puritan culture but also above it This is done by using positive natural images and metaphors to the natural world Describing Pearl as a lovely and immortal flower out of the rank luxuriance of a guilty passion pg 81 begins this image This rank luxuriance is based on the strict Puritan morals It describes the child as a mistake or an outcast even though the birth of a child is supposed to be a wonderful thing Pearl also has a sort of love and disposition uncommon of other Puritan children illustrated by the statement Hester could not help questioning at such moments whether Pearl were a human child she seemed rather an airy sprite pg 84 Her mother being of a Puritan background seems to disturb her that Pearl acts so free spirited The best example of the difference of Pearl in a positive way is a direct statement about Puritan children Puritan elders the ugliest weeds of the garden were their children pg 87 By describing the other puritan children as weeds Hawthorne symbolizes the paths that their lives will take Weeds will grow up big but will never be as beautiful as a flower and often tries to smother flowers and kill them off The religious descriptions of Pearl are often used
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