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The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter


by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Pearl Timeline and Summary

  • Pearl is three months old when her mother carries her from prison to the scaffold where Hester is publicly shamed for her adultery.
  • The governor questions Pearl when she is a few years old. He wants to see if she knows her catechism. But Pearl is stubborn and uncooperative. She fails to respond the way she’s supposed to. The explanation? It is the demon in her!
  • When she is seven years old, Pearl refuses to kiss the Reverend Dimmesdale until he has publicly acknowledged his relationship to her and to Hester.
  • Pearl refuses to come to her mother if she is not wearing the scarlet A. She won’t recognize her as her mother without that symbol.
  • Pearl points out Dimmesdale’s guilty habit of putting his hand over his heart. She wonders what he has done.
  • Roger Chillingworth leaves his estate to her upon his death within a year of Dimmesdale’s dramatic confession.
  • Pearl accompanies her mother to the Old World. The narrator surmises that she marries well and has children, since Hester is observed embroidering a baby garment many years later, when Hester returns to the Massachusetts Bay Colony.