Chapter 5: Hester at her Needle
…giving up her individuality, she would become the general symbol at which the preacher and moralist
might point, and in which they might vivify and embody their images of woman’s frailty and sinful
Here, she said to herself, had been the scene of her guilt, and here should be the scene of her earthly
But it is not recorded that, in a single instance, her skill was called in aid to embroider the white veil
which was to cover the pure blushes of a bride.
In all her intercourse with society, however, there was nothing that made her feel as if she belonged to it.
She shuddered to believe, yet could not help believing, that it gave her a sympathetic knowledge of the
hidden sin in other hearts.
Chapter 6: Pearl
But she named the infant “Pearl,” as being of great price,—purchased with all she had,—her mother’s
Day after day, she looked fearfully into the child’s expanding nature; ever dreading to detect some dark
and wild peculiarity that should correspond with the guiltiness to which she owed her being.
She could recognize her wild, desperate, defiant mood, the flightiness of her temper
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.
But that first object of which Pearl seemed to become aware was—shall we say it?—the scarlet letter on
“He did not send me!” cried she, positively. “I have no Heavenly Father!”
Chapter 7: The Governor’s Hall
It had reached her ears, that there was a design on the part of some of the leading inhabitants, cherishing
the more rigid order of principles in religion and government, to deprive her of her child.
…of the child’s whole appearance, that it irresistibly and inevitably reminded the beholder of the token
which Hester Prynne was doomed to wear upon her bosom. It was the scarlet letter in another form; the
scarlet letter endowed with life!
“No, my little Pearl!” said her mother. “Thou must gather thine own sunshine. I have none to give thee!”
the scarlet letter was represented in exaggerated and gigantic proportions, so as to be greatly the most
prominent feature of her appearance. In truth, she seemed absolutely hidden behind it.