The Scarlet Letter

What is significant about Pearl's name? What are the mysteries concerning her background? How does Hester explain Pearl's existence?

In Ch. 6

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Of course the absence of a father is cause for great mystery and excitement in this Puritan town. Children out of wedlock from a mystery man was like the best gossip in the world. Hester's only reason for living is her daughter. Hester explains Pearl's existence through irony and paradox. Pearl is a treasure that has come from sin. Pearl was “purchased with all had—her mother’s only treasure! giving her existence a great law had been broken.” The broken law of morality produces an angel for Hester.