Enough Already

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The Scarlet Letter Ch. 1-6

"But she named the infant "Pearl" as being of great price, -purchased with all she had,- her mother's only treasure" (81).

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm getting sick of how much Hawthorne writes how guilty Hester feels. This isn't really helped by the fact that Hester seems to think of her own child in a more negative than positive light. Always wondering whether or not she's human or referring to her as the "scarlet letter in another form; the scarlet letter endowed with life!" (93). I know I just quoted from the other half of our reading, but I think it helps get my point across. Hester sees Pearl as part of her punishment and therefore thinks of her in negative terms.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL266/2009/09/hawthorne_sl1/

7 Comments

Jessica Apitsch said:

I feel like you make a vgood point but I might have to disagree slightly. This whole novel is based on Hester's guilt which centers around the scarlet letter. As much as Pearly represents this guilt and letter, Hester makes it a point to make it clear that she equally feels like Pearl is her happiness and her torture. "Pearl keeps me here in life" (103). Dimmesdale even makes the argument that Pearl is the reason Hester's soul is still alive. I feel Hawthorne makes a strong argument to defend both the cons and pros to Pearl's existance.

Kayla Lesko said:

I said in my entry that Hester does regard Pearl in a positive light, I just didn't put any quotes to support it. It's just that the cons jumped out at me more than the pros.

"Even thus early had the child saved her from Satan's snare (107)."

I can understand your frustration. This being the 2nd and 3rd time I am reading this book (3rd so I can actually find something of significance), I am thoroughly tired of tearing Hawthorne apart.
As already stated by others, Pearl is both a positive and negative symbol. On one hand, she represents the evil deed done, on the other, she represents hope for Hester to follow the right path. The quote above demonstrates how little Pearl can be a positive thing for Hester, even though it comes for the second portion of the reading. It's hard to divide. In chapters 1-6, it's very difficult to see Pearl as a good thing and Hester is very much portrayed the victim.

I understand completely.

Sarah Durham said:

Kayla, I didn't really think about it until you state, "I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm getting sick of how much Hawthorne writes how guilty Hester feels." Hawthorne does a lot of reminding of the guilt Hester is experiencing page after page.

I understand Pearl is the reason "her soul is still alive." But sometimes I feel like the story has one dimension, guilt. I have found it frustrating even though I do enjoy the story. I just keep wondering, since this is a first read for me, is the entire story this dark and sad or will there be some kind of happiness?

Katie Lantz said:

I think Pearl is regarded in a positive light as well, but I agree with Jessica that Hawthorn has supplied great support for both the pros and cons of her life.

But, there is also a very dark tone throughout the entire story.

Jered Johnston said:

I have to agree with you, the constant reminders that Hester is consumed by her guilt, though beautifully and masterfully written, make the reading a little stagnant at times.

Jessica Apitsch said:

I would agree that the cons jumped out more to the reader. I would also agree that so far the story seems to be unable to stray away from an overall dark tone. Every time a positive light enters, it is followed by a very dark could.

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Recent Comments

Jessica Apitsch on Enough Already: I would agree that the cons ju
Jered Johnston on Enough Already: I have to agree with you, the
Katie Lantz on Enough Already: I think Pearl is regarded in a
Sarah Durham on Enough Already: Kayla, I didn't really think a
Heather Mourick on Enough Already: "Even thus early had the child
Kayla Lesko on Enough Already: I said in my entry that Hester
Jessica Apitsch on Enough Already: I feel like you make a vgood p
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