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Date of publication: 2017-09-03 23:00

Pearl is compared to a witch in both the way she interacts with other children and the way she plays. Having been scorned by the other Puritan families all her life, Pearl is positively wrathful when other children approach her, going so far as to throw stones and scream at them. With toys, Pearl always plays games in which she destroys everything.

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Hester also can sense when people sympathize with her, perhaps because of their own secret sins. Thus the letter serves as a gateway into other people s secret crimes, and it acts as a focal point for the shame of the entire community. The letter thus can be interpreted as a symbol of shame shared by everyone rather than by Hester alone.

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We love the ornate embossment on Julianne s bodice not to mention the high neck and red leaf-shaped fluttering embellishment. The subtle yet oh so luxe looking feathers cascading down the skirt of Julianne s gown put the finishing touches to this beautiful design.

Why would Hester stay in Boston rather than start her life anew somewhere else? The narrator argues that it is very difficult to leave the scene of a grave event because one feels the need to indulge in the feelings brought about by the setting. In other words, once Hester is made to stand on the scaffold, she unconsciously believes she must remain in Boston until she is somehow purged of the consequences of her action. To leave Boston out of anger or the desire to banish her past could leave her unsettled for the rest of her life.

Hester spends hours clothing Pearl in the richest garments she can find, even though it seems that Pearl would appear just as beautiful in any garment. Hester s passion exists in the child s demeanor in the form of flightiness of temper. and even some of the very cloud-shapes of gloom and despondency that had brooded in her heart.

Since the prison is a place of darkness and sin, the beauty of a wild rose bush growing in such an unexpected place symbolizes God's grace. By starting us off with this ugly door and beautiful rosebush, Hawthorne is letting us know that these issues of justice versus mercy punishment versus forgiveness and judgment versus grace are going to be super important.

The scarlet letter itself becomes an even weightier symbol in these chapters. Whereas at first it represented Hester s adultery and her needlework skills, it now takes on two more meanings. First, the letter begins to represent the hidden shame of the community. Preachers stop in the street and address their fiery words towards Hester, and she becomes a lightning rod for all sin, for all the latent build-up of repressed rage fomented by the strict morals and codes of the society. The more the community unloads its hatred and judgment upon Hester, the more it can use her as an example or deterrent in the name of eradicating sin.

In the meantime, however, Pearl seems very much an embodiment of unfettered id. She has no interest in playing with other children and can be violent towards them. She is not protective of her mother either. Psychoanalysts might identify Pearl as a manifestation of rage, an expression of the repressed love and passion that are silenced by puritanical society. After all, if Dimmesdale and Hester still love each other, their love is quelled and silenced by law, while Hester s loveless marriage with Chillingworth is endorsed.

Thy acts are like mercy, said Hester, bewildered and appalled but thy words interpret thee as a terror! What does Hester mean by this statement?

Hester grabs Pearl and screams that she will die before the men are allowed to take away her daughter. Finally, in desperation, she turns to Arthur Dimmesdale and pleads with him to speak on her behalf. He comes forward with his hand over his heart and argues that God has obviously given Pearl to Hester for some divine reason, and that it would meddle with the ways of the Lord to take Pearl away from her. He then indicates that Pearl is punishment for Hester as well, evidenced by the garb of the poor child, so forcibly reminding us of that red symbol which sears [Hester s] bosom.

This SparkNote was amazingly easy to understand, I just wish that someone would rewrite the book with modern English. But anyway, the quizzes are SUPER (Let me stress that super) helpful. Since the chapter summaries are so well written, I was actually able to come to. Read more

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