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Free College Essays - Symbolism in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter :: Scarlet Letter essays

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The Scarlet Letter Symbolism The Scarlet Letter is a book of much symbolism.  One of the most complex and misunderstood symbols in the book is Pearl, the daughter of Hester Prynne.  Pearl, throughout the story, develops into a dynamic symbol -  one that is always changing.  In the following essay, I will explore some of the symbolism which Pearl came to represent throughout the novel.             In The Scarlet Letter, Hester, for her sins, received a scarlet letter, "A" which she had to wear upon her chest.  This was the Puritan way of treating her as a criminal, for the crime of adultery.  The Puritan treatment continued, because as Hester would walk through the streets, she would be looked down upon as if she were some sort of demon from Hell, that committed a terrible crime.  This would give her much mental anguish and grief.  On the other hand, God's treatment of Hester for her sin was quite different than just a physical token: he gave Hester the punishment of a very unique child which she named Pearl.

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