Describe Hester's feelings of Chillingworth as he leaves her in the woods. she admits she . What is the relationship with Pearl and nature? they seem related. Discuss the relationship between the scarlet letter and Hester's identity. In what ways could The Scarlet Letter be read as a commentary on the era of American history it describes? The governor's garden, which Hester and Pearl see in Chapter 7, illustrates his tactic quite well. Chapters Quick Quiz Next. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. which focuses on the relationship between God and the communities of mankind, Turning toward the scaffold, he calls to Hester and Pearl to join him. it would be “irreverent to describe [the] revelation”—and then sinks onto the scaffold.
Now, however, we cite statistical probabilities instead of the devil as the cause of their propensity to crime, drug abuse, dropping out of school, going on the dole, and having more out-of-wedlock children. Many conservatives seem to have adopted The Scarlet Letter as a primer on what to do about illegitimacy.
Mothers of illegitimate children should be heaped with scorn for neglecting, abandoning, and abusing their children. They are irresponsible and immoral for "getting pregnant," as though they did it all by themselves. In Hawthorne's Puritan Salem, at least, Dimmesdale would have been held equally responsible and immoral, had he been found out. The way to deter people from having illegitimate children is to do what Salem did to Hester: Thus, the Republican Personal Responsibility Act would eliminate AFDC eligibility for young women who bear children outside marriage, and it would preclude any additional monies for women already on AFDC who bear another child.
The double standard of The Scarlet Letter still prevails. Both the Republican and Democratic versions of welfare reform pay lip service to holding fathers more accountable, but both treat mothers far more harshly. Both plans, like Governor Bellingham, talk tough about establishing paternity. Mothers will have to cooperate with the state in identifying fathers and establishing paternity. The Republican bill, strikingly, does not add a thing to existing child support enforcement tools or provisions.
- Sex, Lies, and The Scarlet Letter
Neither bill sets up work requirements, much less job programs, for fathers. So beyond identifying more fathers, what will welfare reform do to men? At its toughest, it might succeed at getting the courts to order more child support, but whether it will get more money to kids is another question.
Nothing in the Republican reforms creates more jobs, more job stability, or higher wages for men. States would, however, be allowed to use money they would otherwise spend for food stamps to subsidize private sector jobs. And perhaps even more important, nothing in the contemplated welfare reforms is addressed to increasing fathers' involvement with their kids.
Because most of the father's payments go to the state, the system doesn't even give dads the psychological satisfaction of helping their kids. Part way through The Scarlet Letter, Hester and Pearl have one of those quintessential conversations about where Pearl "came from" that might have been a lesson in family values, had Hester not felt the pressing need to protect Pearl's father. I have no Heavenly Father.
Some of the good Christians of the town, it seems, had concluded that "if the child were really capable of moral and religious growth. There she has an audience with Governor Bellingham, Arthur Dimmesdale, and another minister named Wilson. Bellingham commands Wilson to determine whether Pearl has had a Christian upbringing. In a moment of impish perversity, she says her mother plucked her from a rose bush.
She is obviously "unsocialized," as the current rhetoric would have it. She will be taken from Hester and put in care of the state.
And here's the pain of it: The very lie that Hester has maintained to preserve the authority of church and state and to protect the good name of Dimmesdale becomes the source of Pearl's resistance and the evidence of Hester's unfitness as a mother.
Dimmesdale, true to character, remains silent during this little child welfare hearing--until, that is, Hester rises up in a fury and commands him to speak on her behalf. He has the gall to bring the authority of the church down on Hester once again, this time to her advantage. He speechifies about God's purpose in sending this "child of its father's guilt and its mother's shame" as retribution and even a "torture" to the mother, to remind her of her sin.
Hester gets to keep the kid because the church, the minister, and the dad all say punishment is good for her soul. The great lie here--that bad children were created by bad mothers and that fathers and social policies bear little responsibility--is the same lie that justifies taking children away from their mothers.
It's bad enough that these unwed mothers take support from the government.
The Scarlet Letter Questions 1-8
But many of them turn out to be bad mothers to boot. Even with all the money we taxpayers give them, they still don't feed their children properly, supervise them, discipline them, or give them quality time. Their kids would be better off in the care of the state.
Better an orphanage than a neglectful and abusive mother. There are, certainly, a whole lot of children who are ill cared for, neglected, and abused, and who would probably be better off in some kind of group home for young unwed mothers or boarding school for kids. But why are their mothers--the ones who do feed them, watch them, and spend time with them at all--the only parents who are bad?
In most cases, if unwed mothers spent as little time with their kids as unwed fathers do, we would call it abandonment. Why do we look for solutions by focusing on the character and behavior of the mothers, while ignoring the fathers?
Lest anyone doubt how lax our norms for fatherhood are, let them look at child support awards among divorced couples.
NabilaUddin: Relationship Between Hester and Pearl
Fathers are generally ordered to pay only a small proportion of their income in child support, and the portion declines as the man's income rises. Around half of fathers who are ordered to make child support payments do not make them after the first year or so, and courts do next to nothing about enforcing the awards. Since we don't hold middle class and affluent fathers to any standard of decent support for their children, how do we expect to convey norms of financial responsibility to the poor?
Apparently, through brute force. We have a much more aggressive child support enforcement system for poor men, and we exact a much higher portion of their incomes than we do for middle-and upper-income men in divorce cases.
By the time she is seven, Pearl comes to know on some level that Dimmesdale is her father. Once, Hester and Pearl come upon Dimmesdale in the middle of the night. He is standing on the scaffold where the three of them once stood together. He beckons them to join him, and they all hold hands in a moment of electric intensity.
She begs for acknowledgment and commitment, for a promise that Dimmesdale will take her and her mother's hands in public. She tries to pin him down to a date.
Pushed into a corner, he names "the great judgment day. Near the end of the novel, Hester meets Dimmesdale in the woods and tries to persuade him that the three of them should return to Europe, where they could live out the love that "had a consecration of its own. Dimmesdale worries that Pearl won't warm up to him or trust him. But Pearl, summoned now to join Hester and Dimmesdale, goes into a "fit of passion" and refuses to come until Hester dons the scarlet "A" again.
Hester gives a classic speech, the one women always give their children when bringing a new man into the family or when trying to reintegrate a prodigal father: He loves thee, my little Pearl, and loves thy mother too.
Wilt thou not love him? He longs to greet thee! If he really loves her, she wants proof. She wants Dimmesdale to act like a father and husband.
Schools would have to teach that unwed teenage parenthood is often bad for kids, that "not all families are equally capable of caring for children," and that love cannot make up for a lack of long-term commitment, responsibility, and sacrifice on the part of parents.
Whitehead glimpses the dilemma here: The dilemma is much more profound than Whitehead imagines, though, because the facts are far more cruel than she acknowledges--and crueler than children ought to bear.
Are we really willing admit to ourselves, let alone teach our kids, that some parents are less fit than others? That poor and less-educated parents are not as capable of giving their kids a good life as those in a higher socioeconomic station? That all children are not born equal? That some adults beat their kids and are terrible parents in this and other ways, but they're allowed to have kids anyway? She says that the Heavenly Father has brought Pearl to Earth.
Pearl replys, " I have no Heavenly Father. She doesn't understand the religion. Pearl's only companion is her mother, and she has no father figure in her life. In Chapter 7Hester and Pearl are attacked by a group of children, who try to fling mud at them.
Pearl becomes angry and frightens the children off. She throws rocks at them. She doesn't know why the children are making fun of her and her mother.
The only thing left for her to do was to throw something at them to make the village children go away. Pearl cares for her mother and she doesn't want anyone to hurt her. In Chapter 15Hester and Pearl were walking along the beaches.
The Scarlet Letter Questions
Pearl dressed up as a mermaid and placed a green seaweed on her breast. It took the shape of the letter "A". Hester thought that Pearl was too young to understand what the scarlet letter means. In the meantime, Pearl was persistent, when she kept asking her mother about scarlet letter and why the minister clutches his hand over his heart.
In Chapter 16Hester and Pearl were walking in the forest. Pearl wanted to know about the "Black Man. Pearl is relating it to the minister because he always clutches his heart, and it has left a mark inside of him. Pearl thinks and says her thoughts without realizing how she is connecting them in a way that it reveals Dimmesdale's true identity.