From Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, One of the most complex and misunderstood symbols in the book is Pearl, the illegitimate daughter of Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmsdale. Because Pearl was born from a man other than Hestor's husband, the townspeople call her the devil child. At first, Pearl is curious of why her mother wears the scarlet letter on her chest. Throughout the novel, Pearl develops into a dynamic character of the story. Pearl is a beautiful child like no other in the town and her actions prove her to be independent and unlike other children of the town.
Hawthorne presents symbolism from three main time periods of Pearl's life, birth, age three and age seven. The name Hestor gave Pearl at birth immediately represents her value. "But she named the infant "Pearl," as being of great price, --purchased with all she had, --her mother's only treasure!" (page 62). Pearl is recognized in the town because of her attractive features. .
This being one of her abnormalities, the townspeople call her a demon child as the author describes, "Pearl was a born outcast of the infantile world. An imp of evil, emblem and product of sin, she had no right among christened infants." Another odd thing about Pearl is her fear of being around new people. Her mother's position in the town has shut her off from being social. She does not know that it is wrong to scream in front of strangers. Pearl's curiosity of the scarlet letter on Hestor's chest is unusual for a child her age. She is a constant reminder of Hestor's sins. As she grows up, her interest grows as well about why her mother is a sinner. .
As pearl grows up, her mother is a busy woman. Hester earns money by doing stitch work for local dignitaries, and spends some time helping the poor and sick. Because her mother is not constantly watching her, Pearl grows up to be wild and independent. She refuses to obey her mother. .
In conclusion, Pearl develops into a normal person who is used to being around people.