Excerpts about Pearl in Chapter 5 "Hester at her Needle"
While Hester dresses herself somberly and makes a living as a seamstress, she designs and sews elaborate, fantastic clothing for her little Pearl. Townspeople and strangers alike will gawk at both the scarlet "A" on her breast and at her child.
Thus the young and pure would be taught to look at her, with the scarlet letter flaming on her breast,--at her, the child of honorable parents,--at her, the mother of a babe, that would hereafter be a woman,--at her, who had once been innocent,--as the figure, the body, the reality of sin. And over her grave, the infamy that she must carry thither would be her only monument.
Hester sought not to acquire any thing beyond a subsistence, of the plainest and most ascetic description, for herself, and a simple abundance for her child. Her own dress was of the coarsest materials and the most sombre hue; with only that one ornament,--the scarlet letter,--which it was her doom to wear. The child's attire, on the other hand, was distinguished by a fanciful, or, we may rather say, a fantastic ingenuity, which served, indeed, to heighten the airy charm that early began to develop itself in the little girl, but which appeared to have also a deeper meaning.