Recently, in my English class, we’ve been reading a book called The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. In the book, Hester Prynne is shamed for being an adulterer and forced to wear a scarlet “A” on her chest. Hester has a daughter, a little girl named Pearl. Many of my classmates find Pearl creepy, and possibly evil, because she acts strangely and does not seem to know how to emotionally connect with people like a normal child.
However, I don’t think Pearl, is really evil. She just can’t help the way she is. She reminds me a girl named Anna in, My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult, who also could not control her own life.
Anna was born to be a donor for her older sister, Kate, who suffered from acute promyelocytic leukemia, a blood and bone marrow cancer. She never had any other choice, because that was what she born into. All she ever knew were hospitals, operations, and pain. The book follows her lawsuit in which she tries to regain the rights to her own body.
Like Anna, Hester’s daughter, Pearl, was born into a situation she could not control. Her mother was an outcast. Other people looked at her like she was a mistake, something that never should have happened. Because she grew up in such an environment, it is perfectly understandable that Pearl does not act like a normal child; she just can’t help it.
The stories of Anna and Pearl truly make me thankful to be who I am, to have control over who I am. Everyone is always saying that you can be who you want to be, that you have that privilege. I think it is important to understand that there are always exceptions. Sometimes, that choice isn’t really yours to make.