Pearl, the daughter of Hester, is best described as perceptive and inquisitive. Although Pearl is a child, she has an ability to observe and analyze people and her surroundings. Pearl is very curious and attempts to learn about the puritanical society that she lives in and why she and Hester are treated differently. Pearl is a beautiful, curious yet misbehaved and sassy child. Pearl is instinctively drawn to her mother's embroidered "A." As a child, Pearl throws rocks and wild flowers at the scarlet letter. While Growing up, Pearl is not accepted by society; she looked down upon by the town as a symbol of evil. When other children make fun of her or throw mud at her, she remains brave and defends herself by screaming and scaring the other children off. Not knowing what a true friend is, she makes up imaginary characters. The scarlet "A" worn by Hester is a symbol of Pearl; both Pearl and the scarlet letter are results of the sexual sin. By society, Pearl is thought to be a demon child and the letter a punishment, both to be looked down upon; however, Pearl is the greatest gift that Hester has ever received and the scarlet letter is glorified by Hester's needlework. Pearl was described as "the scarlet letter in another form; the scarlet letter endowed with life!" (98).
Pearl does not act like a typical girl of her age. She is far more mature and is able to use her perceptiveness to make very intelligent inferences. Hester believes that Pearl is too young to find out the meaning of the scarlet letter. Hester baffled by Pearl when she answered Reverend Wilson's about where she came from, saying she was, "plucked by her mother off the bush of wild roses that grew by the prison door" (108). Although Pearl has never been told about the sin, she makes comments and inferences to let the reader know she is able to take the knowledge she absorbs and apply making inferences about what happened to her mother. Due to Pearl's perceptiveness, intelligence, and curiosity, she is far more mature than most children; Pearl is able to watch and analyze the world around her enhancing her own knowledge.