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  • Writer's pictureSophie

Day 564

Continuing to work on my essay from yesterday...


Her daughter Pearl goes on to perfectly encapsulate her name, a pure-hearted, intelligent, and uniquely human child who speaks up for her mother against those against her. In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne defies Puritanical convention in her motherhood through having Pearl out of wedlock, and in turn, serves as a resilient Mary figure through usage of symbolism and irony. 

There is only one way to be a mother in Puritan society, and Hester does not fit the bill. As a woman who had her child with a man she is not married to, Hester is subsequently ostracized and publicly shunned. Rather than fighting against the allegations, she embraces her shame and wears the adorned scarlet letter in what she believes to be her own penance. Hester “wisely judging that one token of her shame would but poorly hide another” (Hawthorne 47), ironically holds her child on the bannister with the titular A in clear view.

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