Chapter 6 Notes from The Scarlet Letter

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The Scarlet Letter Chapter 6

Pearl is a very beautiful little girl, named after a jewel of great price. She is agile and looks perfect, however, her temperament leaves a lot to be desired.

"Throughout all, however, there was a trait of passion, a certain depth of hue....The child could not be made amenable to rules....The mother's impassioned state had been the medium through which were transmitted to the unborn infant the rays of its moral life; and, however white and clear originally, they had taken the deep stains of crimson and gold, the fiery lustre, the black shadow, and the untempered light of the intervening substance. Above all, the warfare of Hester's spirit, at that epoch, was perpetuated in Pearl." Chapter 6, pg. 83.

Hester tries to discipline her in a gentle way, much different than the Puritan standard of harsh punishment, but it does not work. Hester finds Pearl all the more difficult because Pearl cannot play with other children.

Hester wishes that Pearl could have a relatively normal childhood, but Pearl was born an outcast, and the other children treat her that way. The most difficult thing Hester has to deal with in relation to Pearl is Pearl's attachment to the Scarlet Letter. As an infant, the first thing Pearl reaches for is the letter, and her fascination with the embroidered square of cloth continues throughout her childhood. One day, Hester playfully suggests to Pearl that she is not Hester's child. Hester asks her if she came from the Heavenly Father. Pearl says no, and instead asks Hester to tell her where she did come from. Hester never gives Pearl an answer.

Topic Tracking: Truth 2

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