The Scarlet Letter Questions and Answers
by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Letter book cover
Start Your Free Trial

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

Expert Answers info

Colin Cavendish-Jones, Ph.D. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Professor, Lawyer

bookM.A. from Oxford University

bookPh.D. from St. Andrews University


calendarEducator since 2019

write2,273 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

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


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write11,113 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

ms-mcgregor eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write1,918 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Science

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write16,150 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial