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.
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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.
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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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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