The Scarlet Letter

In Chapter 15, why can Hester not bring herself to reveal the meaning of the letter to Pearl?

I read the book but I cannot comprehend anything because of the advanced word choice of the novel.

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Hester's refusal to tell Pearl the true meaning of the letter is symbolic of Pearl's role in the novel. Pearl has often been compared to a living version of the scarlet letter. Thus, until she is told what the letter really means, she is unable to know herself. Her role as a living scarlet letter is to announce to the whole world who the guilty parties are, something she has unwittingly done throughout the novel.

The failure of Hester to fully reveal her secret to Pearl creates a conflict that will have to be resolved before the novel ends. Pearl's persistence in asking what the letter means shows that she is starting to complete her assigned role in the story. She started to complete this role by demanding that Dimmesdale hold her hand on the scaffold, and she will likely be the one to finally reveal Dimmesdale's secret.