"Characters in The Scarlet Letter." Readings. San Diego, 1998. 58-72.
Morally, holding sins over your head can lead to death as read in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s, The Minister’s Black Veil and The Scarlet Letter. Also, Hester proved to all the hypocrites that doubted her that just because she sinned does not mean that cannot continue to live. Because Hester committed adultery, she began to take life more seriously than before. As a result, she became more independent and strong-minded. Nevertheless, she learned from her mistakes and used them wisely to help raise her daughter, Pearl.
In The Scarlet Letter, Pearl is often regarded as a symbol of the suffering of Hester Prynne and the shamed Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, but Pearls significance is more than just symbolizing the sin committed by her parents. She in many ways represents the innocence that the puritan belief regressed itself not to have. Hawthorne constructs Pearl as an evolving symbol for Hester and Dimmsdale and her progression as a character is shown through that of the actions set forth by these characters. Since the inception of the act of adultery by Hester and Dimmesdale, Pearl is developed by sin, but she is not conformed to sin. As a result Pearl symbolizes a release of sin.
Her will power and imagination make her a blessing and a curse to her mother, who has paid such a great price for her child. Hawthorne's ambiguity shows the true complexity of Pearl and each of her symbolic meanings that were covered and arrange it all quite brilliantly because Hawthorne incorporated the aftermaths of Hester and Dimmesdale's sins into one innocent character,
Pearl had a great role in the scarlet letter. Her differences from the other Puritan children showed the reader the effect Pearls life had on her personality. Pearl was seen as the Devil’s child or a child from sin. Pearl proved to be quite the opposite, although she wasn't quite a human character but more of a symbol she added a touch of love and beauty to a story filled with hate and pain. Pearl really was the ray of sunshine in this world.
: The Scarlet Letter. Murfin, Ross C., ed. Boston: St. Martin's, 1991. (235-251). Hawthorne, Nathaniel.