The Symbolic Pearl

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Essay Database > Literature > English
Most novels usually have a main symbol, which teaches a character, or the reader, a very important lesson or moral. This is true in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic The Scarlet Letter, where Hester Prynne’s daughter Pearl serves as the most extensive living symbol in the entire novel. She is much more of a symbol than an actual character. Pearl symbolizes Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale’s concealed love affair and plays a key character …

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…part in the classic novel The Scarlet Letter. Not only was she a key character throughout the story, she was a tremendous symbol of two people’s uncontrollable lust for one another. Pearl serves as a major living symbol of both Dimmesdale and Hester’s relationship and conscience. She completes her function as a symbol when Dimmesdale dies on the scaffold, after saving his soul. It was as if a spell had been broken, finally.