In Ch. 15
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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. Telling Pearl about the "A" would reveal something that Hester is afraid Pearl can not fully comprehend. I think Hester also doesn't want to, at this point, accept Pearl as her precious symbol of the "A".
Hester refuses to tell pearl the truth bout the letter A because she won't understand