Scarlet

Letter And Pearl

I can remember about six years ago when I realized that my parents were going to
be divorced. I never understood why something so horrible was happening to me. I
resented my parents for putting me through so much pain. I later realized my
parents were ending their marriage because my father had committed adultery. I
hated my father and felt sorry for my mother. I never ever looked at my father
the same. I see myself as having something in common with the character Pearl in
the novel The Scarlet Letter. I was not born a bastard, but we both were forced
with the awful word of adultery placed on our names. The Scarlet Letter is a
book of much symbolism. One of the most complex and misunderstood symbols in the
book is Pearl, the daughter of Hester Prynne. Pearl and Hester have a major
conflict that in turns contributes to the meaning of the work. In The Scarlet

Letter, Hester, for her sins, received a scarlet letter, "A" which she
had to wear upon her chest. This was the Puritan way of treating her as a
criminal, for the crime of adultery. Hester would walk through the streets, she
would be looked down upon as if she were some sort of demon from Hell, that
committed a terrible crime. This would give her much mental anguish and grief.

On the other hand, Godís treatment of Hester for her sin was quite different
than just a physical token: he gave Hester the punishment of a very unique child
which she named Pearl. This punishment handed down from God was a constant
mental and physical reminder to Hester of what she had done wrong, and she could
not escape it. In this aspect, Pearl symbolized Godís way of punishing Hester
for adultery. The way Hesterís life was ruined for so long was the ultimate
price that Hester paid for Pearl. With Pearl, Hesterís life was one almost
never filled with joy, but instead a constant nagging. Pearl would harass her
mother over the scarlet "A" which she wore. Pearl would also make her
own "A" to wear, and sometimes she played games with her motherís
"A", trying to hit it with rocks. When Hester would go into the town
with Pearl, the other children would make fun of her, and Pearl would yell and
throw dirt at them. Although Hester had so much trouble with Pearl, she still
felt that Pearl was her treasure. Pearl was really the only thing that Hester
had in life, and if Pearl wasnít in Hesterís life, Hester would never have
been able to go on. Once and a while, Pearl would bring joy to Hesterís life,
and that helped her to keep on living. Pearl really was the scarlet letter,
because if Pearl had never been born, Hester would have never been found guilty
of adultery, and thus never would have had to wear that burden upon her chest.

Without that burden, Hester would have led a much better life then the one she
had throughout the novel. I never had to go through as much anguish as Pearl,
mostly because adultery is accepted, the President has even done it. Pearl
represented the scarlet letter "A", she was a kind of burden, yet love
for Hester. Pearl was more then her motherís only treasure; she was her
motherís only source of survival. The way that my parents love me with a never
ending love, this was too placed on Pearl and Hester.