The Scarlet Letter

Characterize the diction in the opening paragraph.

Chapter 6

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The diction in the opening paragraph, which details Hester's view of her daughter is filled with beauty, she glows. The opening paragraph, however, goes beyon the physical and gives us a glimpse of Pearl's personality..... her fun loving innocence. Pearl was free, whereas, her mother was not. Hester wouldn't allow the darkness of her shame to shadow the radiance of her daughter.

But little Pearl was not clad in rustic weeds. Her mother, with a morbid purpose that may be better understood hereafter, had bought the richest tissues that could be procured, and allowed her imaginative faculty its full play in the arrangement and decoration of the dresses which the child wore before the public eye. So magnificent was the small figure when thus arrayed, and such was the splendour of Pearl's own proper beauty, shining through the gorgeous robes which might have extinguished a paler loveliness, that there was an absolute circle of radiance around her on the darksome cottage floor. And yet a russet gown, torn and soiled with the child's rude play, made a picture of her just as perfect. Pearl's aspect was imbued with a spell of infinite variety; in this one child there were many children, comprehending the full scope between the wild-flower prettiness of a peasant-baby, and the pomp, in little, of an infant princess. Throughout all, however, there was a trait of passion, a certain depth of hue, which she never lost; and if in any of her changes, she had grown fainter or paler, she would have ceased to be herself--it would have been no longer Pearl!


The Scarlet Letter