The Scarlet Letter Questions and Answers
by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Why does Hester want Pearl to find her own sunshine in chapter 7 of The Scarlet Letter?

Hester wants Pearl to find her own sunshine in chapter 7 of The Scarlet Letter because Pearl demands that her mother take the sunshine off the front of Governor Bellingham's house and give it to her. On a literal level, Pearl's demand is, of course, impossible to meet. But it's also impossible on a metaphorical level because, as a social outcast, Hester has no "sunshine" to give her daughter.

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When Hester and Pearl go to Governor Bellingham's house, the little girl is deeply enamored of the way that the sunshine plays upon the front of the mansion. She starts skipping and dancing with excitement at such a lovely sight and demands that her mother take the sunshine from the house and give it to her.

Of course, Hester can't do this. Neither can she give Pearl any sunshine in a...

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