In The Scarlet Letter, why does Pearl cry at the the end of chapter 7?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

At the beginning of Chapter VI, which introduces her and bears her name, Pearl is described as “a lovely and immortal flower” sprung from a guilty passion. She makes a practice of gathering flowers and even plays a game which involves throwing them at Hester and trying to hit the scarlet letter.

At the end of Chapter VII, Pearl points to the image of the two of them in a convex mirror in the governor’s mansion. The mirror makes the scarlet letter loom unnaturally large and Hester seeks to distract Pearl by taking her out into the garden, saying that they may see more beautiful flowers there than the ones they find in the woods. There are not many, as the garden is mainly given over to vegetables, but they do see a few rose bushes, and Pearl cries for a red rose.

When Hester will not let her have the rose, as she hears people approaching, Pearl gives “an eldritch scream.” Her crying for the rose is a simple, childish reaction and the fact that she stops a moment later of her own...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 866 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on