The Scarlet Letter - Chapter 19 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 19 Summary

Pearl comes out of the woods, reluctantly, to meet the minister, her father. She stands across the brook and, perhaps, jealous by the minister's monopoly on Hester's attention, she has a temper tantrum, which greatly alarms Dimmesdale. Hester believes Pearl has realized that Hester is without the letter. Hester has Pearl retrieve the scarlet letter from across the brook. She reveals to Pearl the happy life that will be in store for her with the minister. Hester brings her to him and he kisses her. But she washes his kiss off in the brook.

Chapter 19 Analysis

Pearl is not a happy confederate in Hester's plans. She does not return the minister's kiss with kindness, but with contempt. Pearl's ambivalence suggests a mournful undercurrent in what would be an otherwise happy setting.

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This section contains 132 words
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The Scarlet Letter from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.