In the Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne, the writer, has created a miserable love story which is mainly developed around a symbol of adultery¡ªthe scarlet letter. Apart from Hester Prynne, the woman who bears the shame of the Letter A, her daughter Pearl Prynne is also an important character closely connected with the symbol of sin in the book. From being a living letter ¡°A¡± to an elf rising above the vulgar crowd, Pearl, throughout the story, has developed into a dynamic symbol which brings us hope and strength.
The most significant symbolic meaning of Pearl Prynne is that she is the living version of the scarlet letter, the scarlet letter endowed with life. To Pearl herself, the scarlet letter is part of her life which accompanied her to grow up. Pearl was born out of love of Hester and Dimmesdale as well as the sin of adultery which was committed by an act of passion. In the public views, the first day she came to the world, she was labeled by the shameful letter. In addition, Pearl coexisted with the letter. When she was still a little baby, the letter brightly shining on her mother`s bosom was the first thing she recognized. For hundreds of times, she presented great interest on the letter. She picked up flowers to hit the letter; she refused to accept her mother without her wearing the letter, and she even made her own letter ¡°A¡± with seaweeds and moss in the seaside. All the instances embodies that Pearl has taken the letter as an indispensable part of her life. In other words, Pear herself is the living letter.
To her parents¡ªHester and Dimmesdale, Pearl plays a role of living scarlet letter compelling them to face the reality and confess their sins to the whole world. As the product of their passion, Pearl is a constant mental and physical reminder to her parents of what they had done wrong. It seems that her mission is to force her parents to suffer a lot from the punishment while she was brought up happily and innocently. Pearl successfully achieved this by firming the letter the center of Hester`s life. More than one time, Pearl asked Hester about the letter, which caused Hester`s intense agony of a shame generated in her. With Pearl being around her, Hester will never escape the punishment of her wrong deed.