The Scarlet Letter Questions and Answers
by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Letter book cover
Start Your Free Trial

At what point in The Scarlet Letter does Pearl undergo a change and why?

Expert Answers info

Wallace Field eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

calendarEducator since 2016

write7,211 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

Pearl undergoes a change when she perceives the difference wrought in her mother after Hester has taken down her hair and removed the scarlet "A." Hester has been speaking with the Reverend Dimmesdale in the forest, and when Pearl returns, Pearl's demeanor changes because "since [she had] rambled from her [mother's] side, another inmate had been admitted within the circle of the mother's feelings, and so modified the aspect of them all" and "Pearl, the returning wanderer, could not find her wonted place, and hardly knew where she was." Seeing her mother so close to another person—when it has always been only Pearl and Hester against the world—shook Pearl to her core. On top of this, she's only ever known her mother to wear her hair hidden under the cap and to wear the scarlet letter; now, with her hair down and the letter gone, Pearl finds her mother to be frightening and foreign.  

As a result, Pearl will not approach her mother and remains on the other side of the brook. She will not...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 523 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

M.P. Ossa, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Lecturer, ESL/TEFL Instructor

bookM.A. from Chapman University

calendarEducator since 2008

write5,713 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and Business

check Approved by eNotes Editorial