Pearl’s personality and appearance in The Scarlet Letter


Pearl is one of the central round characters in the outstanding novel “The Scarlet Letter” (1850) written by the famous American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864). She has a great contribution to developing the plot of the novel and removing the shortcomings of her mother. Nathaniel has designed the character of Pearl to play various roles in the novel that are dealt with below.  

As the blessing of Haster  

As the wife of Roger Chillingworth, she desired to get a baby but Chillingworth did not pay hit to her desire and was always busy with his research and went to Europe. A long absence of Chillingworth she has been engaged in an illicit love affair. Pearl is the result of her illicit love affair with Arthur Dimmesdale. Though such adultery has not been allowed in Puritan society Pearl is the blessing of Hester’s life.   

More Notes: The Scarlet Letter

A guide of Haster   

After seven years of Haster’s imprisonment, she and Pearl lived in a small cottage near the sea. At that time Pearl was seven years old and from then, such a little girl Pearl had great excellence to guide her mother. She was a minute observer of her mother’s way of living.   

A reminder of Hester’s sin  

Hester wore a scarlet letter as a sign of her adultery but in the forest scene, we noticed that by tempting the speech of Arthur Dimmesdale Hester take the scarlet letter off and throw it in the side of the sea. To see this Pearl got furious with her mother and said to wear again the scarlet letter and the cap. She did not want that to change. She wished that her mother stayed her life as virtuous and pious. So, it is proved that Pearl appears in the novel as a reminder of Hester’s sin.  

Let us not look back. The past is gone! Wherefore we should we linger upon it now? See! With this symbol, I undo it all, and make it as it had never been! 

As the symbol of love and passion   

Pearl is the illegitimate child of Arthur Dimmesdale and Hester Prynne. In the novel, Pearl has appeared as the symbol of Hester’s love and passion.   

More Notes: Suggestions


To sum up, we may terminate that Hawthorne’s created character Pearl is played a vital role in the novel “The Scarlet Letter” as a natural gift and sign of Hester’s love.

Rashedul Islam
Rashedul Islam

Hi, This is Rashedul. Researcher and lecturer of English literature and Linguistics.

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