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I can remember about six years ago when I realized that my parents were going to

be divorced. I never understood why something so horrible was happening to me. I

resented my parents for putting me through so much pain. I later realized my

parents were ending their marriage because my father had committed adultery. I

hated my father and felt sorry for my mother. I never ever looked at my father

the same. I see myself as having something in common with the character Pearl in

the novel The Scarlet Letter. I was not born a bastard, but we both were forced

with the awful word of adultery placed on our names. The Scarlet Letter is a

book of much symbolism. One of the most complex and misunderstood symbols in the

book is Pearl, the daughter of Hester Prynne. Pearl and Hester have a major

conflict that in turns contributes to the meaning of the work. In The Scarlet

Letter, Hester, for her sins, received a scarlet letter, "A" which she

had to wear upon her chest. This was the Puritan way of treating her as a

criminal, for the crime of adultery. Hester would walk through the streets, she

would be looked down upon as if she were some sort of demon from Hell, that

committed a terrible crime. This would give her much mental anguish and grief.

On the other hand, God?s treatment of Hester for her sin was quite different

than just a physical token: he gave Hester the punishment of a very unique child

which she named Pearl. This punishment handed down from God was a constant

mental and physical reminder to Hester of what she had done wrong, and she could

not escape it. In this aspect, Pearl symbolized God?s way of punishing Hester

for adultery. The way Hester?s life was ruined for so long was the ultimate

price that Hester paid for Pearl. With Pearl, Hester?s life was one almost

never filled with joy, but instead a constant nagging. Pearl would harass her

mother over the scarlet "A" which she wore. Pearl would also make her

own "A" to wear, and sometimes she played games with her mother?s

"A", trying to hit it with rocks. When Hester would go into the town

with Pearl, the other children would make fun of her, and Pearl would yell and

throw dirt at them. Although Hester had so much trouble with Pearl, she still

felt that Pearl was her treasure. Pearl was really the only thing that Hester

had in life, and if Pearl wasn?t in Hester?s life, Hester would never have

been able to go on. Once and a while, Pearl would bring joy to Hester?s life,

and that helped her to keep on living. Pearl really was the scarlet letter,

because if Pearl had never been born, Hester would have never been found guilty

of adultery, and thus never would have had to wear that burden upon her chest.

Without that burden, Hester would have led a much better life then the one she

had throughout the novel. I never had to go through as much anguish as Pearl,

mostly because adultery is accepted, the President has even done it. Pearl

represented the scarlet letter "A", she was a kind of burden, yet love

for Hester. Pearl was more then her mother?s only treasure; she was her

mother?s only source of survival. The way that my parents love me with a never

ending love, this was too placed on Pearl and Hester.


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