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Pearl and the Letter

"'I have a strange fancy,' observed the sensitive minister, 'that this brook is the boundary between two worlds, and that thou canst meet thy Pearl again.'"
~page 191 of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

All throughout this novel thus far, Pearl has always had a strange fascination with the scarlet letter. Now, at this point when Hester has removed the letter and thrown it in the brook--the same brook that separates Hester and Pearl--Pearl won't go to her mother. The character Dimmesdale's explanation aside, it seems as if the letter itself is what is separating the mother and child. It always has seemed to do so. Anytime Pearl drew attention to the letter, Hester emotionally distanced herself from Pearl out of discomfort. Now the letter is quite literally between them. It is not until Hester agrees to take the letter out of the brook and reattach it to her dress that Pearl can cross the brook.

Comments (1)

Katie Lantz:

I agree Heather. I think not only does the letter distance the two emotionally, but also that Pearl does not recognize her mother without the letter.

To Pearl, it is just another part of what her mother is. She doesn't view it as a symbol of her mother's sins, but just as another ordinary thing.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 14, 2009 12:59 PM.

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