Confession at its finest

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"Pearl kissed his lips.  A spell was broken.  The great scene of grief, in which the wild infant bore a part, had developed all her sympathies; and as her tears fell upon her father's cheek, they were the pledge that she would grow up amid human joy and sorrow, nor forever do battle with the world, but be a woman in it.  Towards her mother, too, Pearl's errand as a messenger of anguish was fulfilled (229)."

I found this passage to be so moving that I had to read it again.  It's amazing how long Pearl has been a symbol of sin.  Here we see the change amid the family.  Dimmesdale's admittance of what he has done, whether people believe it or not, has finally allowed Pearl to see her father and mother, and realize that happiness can happen.  The story follows with a small view of the joys Pearl becomes blessed with.  
It's amazing that this demon child could become human, so to speak, by a simple act of confession.  It's a very moving passage for me.

3 Comments

Jessica Pierce said:

I agree with you totally. This part in the book is a nice point of happiness and relief. The poor child born in sin can finally see the bright lights. Pearl can be normal now, and never seen as the devil child again.

Jessica Apitsch said:

I definitely agree with you as well. There was so much talk about if Pearl was human or a direct spawn from evil. This was a powerful transition on how Hawthorne wanted to portray Pearl to the reader. One of the topics discussed in one of my groups was: did Hawthorne want us to think Pearl was actually evil or did he carefully choose language to get across that Pearl's "evilness" only represented the guilt of her parents. This could support the latter of the two because as soon as Dimmesdale confessed his sins and became lifted, Pearl's human qualities shined through!

Jamie Grace said:

I definitely agree with you. It was a nice part of the book that gave some relief and happiness which was needed after everything that happened. Pearl was the result of a sin and because of that was treated like a sin when she was just an innocent result. She can finally be viewed as an individual instead of a sin. Thank Goodness!!

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