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Pearl’s Ostracism.

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Pearl's Ostracism. In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, life is centered around a rigid Puritan society in which one is expected to be the most upright citizen they can be. Hawthorne uses Pearl as a way to show the harsh views of the early Puritans and how they affected the lives of those who were not fully accepted by them. Pearl is one of the most significant examples of a character that Hawthorne uses who has not been accepted into Puritan society. Hawthorne puts characteristics in Pearl that he uses to show just what the early Puritans were like. Hawthorne shows how Pearl is an oddity in the world of the Puritans through her appearance, her wild and defiant manner, and the way by which she came into existence. First, Nathaniel Hawthorne wastes no time in making it known to the reader that Pearl is no ordinary Puritan character. He emphasizes this when he initially describes Pearl as an infant and again when he describes how her clothes exaggerate her intense beauty. When Hawthorne describes Pearl as an infant he immediately draws attention to the fact that she is out of the ordinary. ...read more.


Pearl's wild and defiant manner helps to enhance the readers perception of her separation from conventional Puritan society through her disobedience and intuition. Pearl's disobedient nature is a quality that sets her apart from the normal Puritans in that it is expected that children obey their elders with no questioning. Pearl's ways are basically summed up in the following quote, "The child could not be made amendable to rules" (94; ch. 6). In this quote, Hawthorne is stating that Pearl just can not be made to follow rules. This is an attribute of any member of a Puritan society that is really looked down upon. If children don't respect their elders then what will become of the community? Hawthorne describes Pearls manner when he says, "her wild, desperate, defiant mood" (94; ch. 6). This again, is a summary of Pearl's mood throughout the whole novel, which is not a characteristic looked highly upon by the Puritan's. Pearls curiosity is another unique trait, because it contributes to making her an individual which was frowned upon by Puritan authority. ...read more.


When people saw Pearl, they were reminded of Hester's sin and as a result, they thought of Pearl in a negative way, setting her apart from most other children. "Pearl's clothes inevitably reminded the beholder of the token which Hester Prynne was doomed to wear upon her bosom. It was the scarlet letter in another form; the scarlet letter endowed with life!" (105; ch. 7). Whenever people in the community see Pearl, they really see Hester's sin, which causes them to not consider her a person, but a reminder of sin. Pearl has been outcast from Puritan society by means that are purely beyond her control. She is rejected by this unforgiving society as a result of her appearance, her attitude, and mainly because of her mother's sin. Pearl is a character in Nathaniel Hawthorne's, The Scarlet Letter that really is not a typical character in the sense that she does not seem to fit in. Pearl is maintained in The Scarlet Letter as Hawthorne's way of showing exactly what the early Puritan's were truly like. Hawthorne made Pearl an outcast from society so that he could show what qualities were not accepted by the early Puritans. ...read more.

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