Chillingworth leaves the peninsula, and Hester immediately notices how evil he has become. She now hates him. In the meantime, Pearl seems to have enjoyed her playtime. She was toying with her image in a pool, threw pebbles at birds and created boats from birch bark. In the end, she makes a scarf using seaweed and decorates her chest with a letter A in green.
Pearl is curious to understand the meaning behind the letter A on the scarlet. For a moment, Hester feels the temptation to tell her daughter the truth since there is nobody else whom she can trust. However, despite Pearl’s repetitive questioning, Hester claims that she wears this letter because it has gold threads. This is the very first time she betrayed the symbol on her chest. Her daughter is still not satisfied. She proceeds with the inquisitiveness until Hester finally threatens to lock her up in a closet.
Analysis of the Chapter 15
This chapter reveals Hester’s deep resentment for Chillingworth. She realizes that he was the one who initiated the unfortunate chain of events, starting with their loveless and unnatural marriage.
At this juncture, the reader can observe the contrast between the two relationships depicted in the novel. Hester and Chillingworth’s marriage is a legitimate relationship that is devoid of love and passion. On the contrary, Dimmesdale and Hester’s relationship is adulterous but filled with love and passion.
Another interpretation of the scarlet letter is observable in Pearl and Hester’s conversation. Hester’s loneliness is evident as she contemplates confiding in pearl. There is nobody else she can open up to except for Dimmesdale and Chillingworth. Hester has a strong desire to explain things to Pearl but decides to keep silent instead.