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How have Hester's conversations with Chillingworth and Pearl changed her attitude...

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jonasharth | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted September 15, 2011 at 11:29 AM via web

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How have Hester's conversations with Chillingworth and Pearl changed her attitude toward herself and her sin?

From Chapter 15 of the Scarlet Letter

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dukesnyder1027 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted September 15, 2011 at 11:58 AM (Answer #1)

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Both Chillingworth and Pearl serve as a narrative tool: they persistently remind Hester of her misdeed throughout the story.  However, Hester realizes something new after each conversation, and she grows as a result of each encounter.  She is the only character who advances spiritually, largely because she is forced to face her sin on a daily basis.  The confrontations make her stronger, and allow her to see deeper:  Excessive self-righteousness (Chillingworth) leads to evil; unschooled innocence (Pearl) cannot understand complexities of adult desire, behavior and love.

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