The Scarlet Letter

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Pearl Symbol Icon
Pearl is a living symbol, the physical embodiment of Hester and Dimmesdale's sin. In Chapter 19, the narrator even calls Pearl a "living hieroglyphic." Yet Pearl, from her name to her comfort with nature, is also the most pure character in the novel. While the Puritans see her as a demon, the reader comes to see her as a kind of nature-sprite, cast out by a society that cannot accept her "sinful" origins.
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