The Scarlet Letter

Pearl Prynne - A Blessing And A Curse

"This child hath come from the hand of the almighty, to work in many ways upon her heart. It was meant for a blessing, for the one blessing of her life! It was meant, doubtless, for a retribution too, a torture to be felt at many an unthought of moment; a pang, as sting, an ever-recurring agony in the midst of a troubled joy" (Hawthorne 105).

This, as Arthur Dimmesdale poignantly and almost prophetically expresses in the preliminary scenes of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, was the role of the strikingly beautiful yet fatally elfish Pearl, the child borne of his and Hester Prynne's forbidden passion. In the midst of the already troubled and sinful life of her mother, Peal is the cause of her further pain, agony and yet also of Hester's happiness and sense of worth. While forever a tormentor to her mother, Pearl was also her savior; while a reminder of her guilt, she proved to be a promoter of honesty and true virtue, and while an embodiment of her parents' worst qualities, she was the true reflection of a troubled heart.

Pearl was at times a literal thorn in the flesh, bringing trouble, heartache, and frustration to her mother, yet while at the same time serving a constructive purpose lying...

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