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Scarlet Letter1

Children are, by nature, incredibly sensitive creatures. They can sense almost any emotion an adult might feel just by observing that adults body language and facial expressions. Such is the case with the youthful Pearl from the novel The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. As the daughter of the adulteress Hester Prynne, the townspeople view Pearl as a demon in an angels clothing; who not only knows exactly what the letter "A" signifies on the bosom of her mother, but as the demon who placed it there, as well. Townspeople also believe that Pearl uses this information against Hester by constantly mentioning the letter in order to make Hester extremely uncomfortable. I believe this is not true based on the following dialogue." Nay, mother, I have told all I know, said Pearl more seriously than she was wont to speakBut is good earnest now, mother dear, what does this scarlet letter mean?- and why dost thou wear it in thy bosom?- and why does the minister keep his hand over his heart? She took her mothers hand in both her own, and gazed into her eyes with an earnestness that was seldom seen in her wild and capricious character." (Hawthorne 164)This dialogue does not seem to be the words of a demon, but of a child who is utterly curios about what the letter "A" on her mothers bosom means. One must not underestimate Pearls intelligence though. In fact, Pearl is not the demon many townspeople consider her to be; instead she is intelligent and sensitive towards her surroundings and can understand much about the scarlet letter Hester wears. "The neighboring townspeople had given out that poor little Pearl was a demon offspring; such as ever since old Catholic times had occasionally been seen on earth, through the agency of their mothers sin, and to promote some foul and wicked purpose." (Hawthorne 91) From this statement and many others similar to it throughout the novel, readers are given the impression that Pearl is a possessed child. I...

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