Imagery in The Scarlet Letter
Hawthorne’s use of imagery here makes Reverend Wilson appear as an angel approaching Dimmesdale. Hawthorne does this to offer Dimmesdale a sense of false salvation; although he thinks an angel is coming to save him, it is nothing but a fellow priest who walks by him without lending a hand or saying a word.
Recall in chapter XIII when Hester is called a “well-spring of human tenderness.” This means that Pearl is herself a free-flowing brook of human tenderness. This metaphor, of child coming from mother, is enhanced by the imagery of the brook described in the text.
This simile provides beautiful imagery that embodies the wildness and wonder of Pearl’s character. Hawthorne uses this fantastical image to enhance the feeling that Pearl herself is magical.