Although she is free to leave Boston, she chooses not to do so. She settles in an abandoned cabin on a patch of infertile land at the edge of town. Hester remains alienated from everyone, including the town fathers, respected women, beggars, children, and even strangers.
Pearl throws the wildflower at Hester! Playing with mom's A.
Despite her success, Hester feels lonely. As shame burns inside of her, she searches for companionship or sympathy. She devotes part of her time to charity work, but even this is more punishment than solace: those she helps frequently insult her, and making garments for the poor out of rough cloth insults her aesthetic sense.
Pearl is an “imp of evil, emblem and product of sin, she had no right among christened infants.” Pearl herself is aware of her difference from others, and when Hester tries to teach her about God, Pearl says, “I have no Heavenly Father!”
Pearl is fascinated by the scarlet letter and at times seems to intentionally torture her mother by playing with it. Once, when Pearl is pelting the letter with wildflowers, Hester wonders if Pearl might not be the demon-child that many of the townspeople believe her to be.
Hester pays a visit to Governor Bellingham’s mansion. She has two intentions: to deliver a pair of ornate gloves she has made for the governor, and to find out if there is any truth to the rumors that Pearl, now three, may be taken from her.
Pearl begins to scream for a rose from the bush outside the window, but she is quieted by the entrance of a group of men.