14 October 2014 Hester’s Yin
The Scarlet Letter
, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne creates life through sinful act. Even though the act was evil, the child produced was a force of good nature. Throughout the book, Pearl grows to become a curious and special child, and she proves to the audience that she as a whole is a force of good. Nathaniel Hawthorne causes Pearl to interact with the world around her, and ultimately illustrates she is a force of good.
When Pearl is around, colors are seemingly brighter and more noticeable in the scene.
“Pearl? Ruby, rather!or Coral!or Red Rose, at the very least, judging from thy hue!” (97).
Mr. Wilson describes her outer hue or coloring, and rather than being a dark scarlet, she has a bright tone to her, which infers that through color, Hawthorne tries to show the reader that she is full of good intentions and innocence. Ruby red, rose color red, and coral are brighter and more vibrant, and Pearl is the human version of those vibrant tones and feelings. Also in the novel, when Pearl and Hester go into the forest, Pearl describes the sunlight to her mom. “‘Mother,’ said little pearl, ‘the sunshine does not love you. It runs away and hides itself, because it is afraid of something on your bosom. Now, see! There it is, playing, and let me run and catch it. I am but
a child. It will not flee from me, for I wear nothing on my bosom yet!’” (166). Pearl is curious to know and understand her mothers scarlet A, and knows from sunlight and brightness that it is a bad thing to have on her bosom. Pearl is the sunlight for her mother, bringing glee and a spark of happiness to this life Hester now possesses. Once in the forest, Pearl is seen with the sunlight.
“Hester smiled, and again called to Pearl, who was visible at some distance, as the minister had described her, like a brightapparelled vision in a sunbeam, which fell down upon her through an arch of boughs.” (186). Again, Hawthorne shows Pearl’s outside to be beaming with bright and good intention. Color throughout this story gives a great visual on if the person being described is a force of good or evil, and because Pearl is always seen to be brighter and more majestic than
Hester or other characters, it proves to be that Pearl is essentially a force of good.
Pearl, being a child, accepts everything and everyone around her, but makes sagacious enough inferences to be curious and ask many questions. She often asks about the A, “But in good earnest now, mother dear, what does this scarlet letter mean? And why dost thou wear it on thy bosom?And why does the minister keep his hand over his heart?” (161). She innocently tries to find the answer to all of her questions, and her innocence shows her good intentions.
Before asking about her mothers A, Pearl decides to make her own. “A letterthe letter ‘A’but freshly green, instead of scarlet! The child bent her chin upon her breast, and contemplated this device with strange interest; even as if the one only thing for which she had been sent into the world was to make out it’s hidden import.” (161). This child copies her mother because she feels like if she has her own she is able to find its meaning. This A is very different than her mother’s.
It is a bright green and is made out of mere seaweed, while her mothers is a nice fabric with gold trim as the outline. These diverse letters on eachother’s chest give an illustation to
Hawthorne’s thinking by displaying good and bad. Pearl’s A is good, pure, and innocent, while
Hester’s A is simply there to show the townspeople she has committed adultery. Pearl has this A to unlock that secret. Her A is made out of bright colors, again Hawthorne shows that Pearl gleams with good and pureness. The material of each letter also proves to show diversity, Pearl using nature which is a positive and well off thing, and Hester just