The Scarlet Letter
by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Scarlet Letter Chapter 6 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
The unlikeliest materials—a stick, a bunch of rags, a flower—were the puppets of Pearl’s witchcraft, and, without undergoing any outward change, became spiritually adapted to whatever drama occupied the stage of her inner world. (6.8)
Witchcraft, sure—or maybe just active imagination. But to the Puritan kids, who only know how to play at going to church and "scourging Quakers," this wild imagination probably does seem a lot like witchcraft.
Pearl would grow positively terrible in her puny wrath, snatching up stones to fling at them, with shrill, incoherent exclamations that made her mother tremble because they had so much the sound of a witch’s anathemas in some unknown tongue. (6.6)
Before you start calling Pearl a little witch, take a look at her childhood: she was born in a prison, she lives with her mother in a tiny cottage far away from town, and kids say mean things to her all day long. We don't know about you, but we'd be cursing up a storm if we were in Pearl's position.