The Scarlet Letter Chapter 7 Summary And Analysis
Hester has caught wind that some influential puritans think Pearl needs to be separated from her. Hester then rushes to Governor Bellingham’s residence accompanied by Pearl. She is to deliver the gloves he ordered. However, most importantly, she wants to plead for her daughter’s custody.
Pearl is also dressed up for the occasion in a beautiful scarlet dress with golden embroidery. On their way to the governor’s residence, Hester and her daughter get accosted by some puritan children. They start taunting Pearl, but she thwarts them through her fiery temper.
Upon arriving at the Governor’s ostentatious mansion, a bondsman welcomes them. They then stand in front of the governor’s suit of armor. It has a polished and curved breastplate in which Pearl and Hester’s scarlet A become distorted. In the meantime, as Hester thinks about Pearl’s contorted image, few men approach them. Pearl keeps silent as she becomes curious about the approaching men.
Analysis of the Chapter 7
Hawthorne imaginatively develops Pearl’s weird personality about the symbolism of the scarlet. The scarlet adds meaning to the letter. By going to the governor’s residence to plead her daughter’s custody, the author displays contempt for the prideful puritan attitudes. He argues that the attempt to separate an impure child from her mother is like pleading for the right to own a pig.
Pearl imagery is that of luxurious beauty and riches. She is full of passion and fire, and her scarlet appearance bears a close association with Hester’s scarlet. The emblem embedded on her dress as well as the sheer determination made the servant think Hester is an influential person.
The governor’s residence is depicted as a place of fantasy. It represents a mix of old-world luxuries and archetypal puritan portraits. No wonder, the breastplate of the Governor’s armor creates an optical illusion.