Hester’s Pearl

15 Mar

Oh, Pearl.  I’m not sure what to think of your part in The Scarlet Letter.  You’re described as both an elf child and demon child.  Sometimes we think those descriptions fit.  Young Pearl that you are, you act as an irritant upon your mother Hester, teasing and tormenting her with your obsession of her scarlet A.  You do know that an oyster’s pearl is formed around an irritant, don’t you?  You are your mama’s only companion.  At one point in the story she even thinks about revealing to you the reason she wears the A.  She is that desperate to have a confidant.  You are her treasure that was bought at a great price.  You are the “living hieroglyphic” of your parents’ adultery and as such, you are merely a symbol of your parents’ sin.  Until…

::Spoiler Alert::

Pearl, you only become human when your father publicly recognizes you as his child, and you kiss him in some sort of reverse Sleeping Beauty scene where he dies and you awaken as a real child.

What does the future hold for a child who starts off life in this way?

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Posted by on March 15, 2012 in The Scarlet Letter


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