The Scarlet Letter

Does Pearl know her catechism? Why does she respond thus to her questioner?

Scarlet Letter Chapter 8 (VIII) The Elf-child and the Minister

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Pearl knows it but in a way that is more sophisticated than even the clergy in the room. Pearl's response to Wilson's questions concerning who made her (God) is telling. She says that she was plucked off of the rose bush outside the prison door. For all its seeming flippancy and impertinence, Pearl's answer is remarkably astute, for if the bush represents the wildness of passion, then she was indeed plucked off of it as a result of her mother's affair with Dimmesdale. The question remains, however, how this rose can be the “moral blossom” that Hawthorne promises early in the novel.