The Scarlet Letter


Nathaniel Hawthorne

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The Scarlet Letter: Chapter 6 Summary & Analysis

The narrator describes Pearl as the human manifestation of Hester's sin: Pearl is filled with a sense of defiance and deviance, and does not fit in among the other children of the community.
Hester has passed on her own defiant "sinful" spirit to her daughter. Pearl is an individual, not a Puritan conformer.
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Like Hester, Pearl is painfully aware of her isolation. She has an innate sense that Hester's scarlet letter is linked to their rejection by society. She pleads with her mother to explain the letter's origin.
Pearl's obsession with the letter makes Hester think Pearl is possessed. But it's the secret surrounding the sin that obsesses Pearl .
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The townspeople consider Pearl the physical embodiment of sin, an "imp of evil."
The Puritans condemn Pearl, an innocent child.
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