Help with Character Analysis of Pearl?Think about Pearl after she inherited Chillingworth's money and left Boston. What lessons did she learn from her unusual youth?This question is for my English...

Help with Character Analysis of Pearl?

Think about Pearl after she inherited Chillingworth's money and left Boston. What lessons did she learn from her unusual youth?

This question is for my English III AP class. I have to write a essay on the topic and I'm having a hard time. Please help!

My biggest problem is how to start my answer.

Asked on by channyfoo

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morrol's profile pic

morrol | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted on

I posted this in response to a question posed by another student. I think that it might help you as well. 

In "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Pearl appears to be so happy out in the woods, she is referred to several times as either an "imp", a "sprite", or an "elf child". This comparison is in stark contrast to the weight the child is on those around her. While Pearl is the physical representation of Hester's sin, she is also light and free spirited. This tension is important in questioning the essence of sin in the novel.

amy-lepore's profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Pearl learns an awful lot about the difference in admitting and facing faults as opposed to hiding them.  Compare her mother and how Hester dealt with her situation as opposed to Dimmesdale. 

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Jamie Wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted on

In addition to the advice above, you might want to check out some of our "How-To" pages here at eNotes to assist you in the writing process:

How to Write a Character Analysis

How to Write an Introduction

How to Read Literature Critically

How to Write a Good Essay on English Literature

Thank you for using eNotes!

ms-mcgregor's profile pic

ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

After being consistently rejected by her biological father until she was seven years old, Pearl became an "elf-child". Since her mother would not tell her the meaning of the scarlet letter and her father would not acknowledge her until "judgement day", I'm sure Pearl felt rejected and, like most children, possibly blamed herself. Her anger had also focused on her mother when Hester removed the scarlet letter. Although she is too young to know everything that occurred between Hester and Dimmesdale, she does sense that Dimmesdale is more to her than her minister. When her father finally does acknowledge her, he dies. This must have been a very traumatic event for Pearl, although she is finally acknowledged by her father.By this time, she must have lacked a lot of trust in people. However, taking Pearl away from that environment was a very wise decision by Hester. Since Pearl was only seven, she was probably forgot many of the details of her early life and was able to focus on growing up as a wealthy young lady. Hawthorne does write that she married well and Hester felt Pearl was mature enough to leave her and return to Boston. Eventually, the memory of her early years must have faded and were probably replaced with the happy times spent in England.

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