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In the beginning of the story, the cemetery and the prison are used to symbolize the harsh, rigid moral impositions of Puritan life. Later in the story, Dimmesdale is associated with the Puritan life and, thereby comes to represent the world of rigid morality. By contrast, Hester is associated with the wild rose, flourishing and blooming without the need for tending and in spite of the constraints of her environment. Pearl uses the cemetery as her playground. Since the cemetery is linked to Dimmesdale's world and the playful, wild rosebush is linked to Hester, Pearl's play in the cemetery is meant to indicate that she, too, flourishes despite the constraints of her situation. By playing in such a somber place, she refuses to be defined by the moral and behavioral restrictions of the Puritans. She is a free spirit. Her existence flies in the face of those who represent Puritan authority.
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