In another passage of Chapter VII, Hawthorne describes Pearl, who is dressed in a "crimson velvet tunic" of scarlet with "flourishes of gold thread," as the "scarlet letter in another form: the scarlet letter endowed with life!" Pearl is Hester's sin of passion made incarnate; she is, indeed, the product of the fire in the hearts of Hester and Pearl's father-- "the unpremeditated offshoot of a passionate moment." For, it is probable that Hester and her lover both have sought each other in their desire for some solace from the grey and stringent life of the Puritan community. What at first may have been a friendship then, of necessity, developed into a relationship in which "unpremeditated" passion occurs.
And, it logically follows that little Pearl, the incarnation of Hester's sin and as the "offshoot" of such passion, is "a dauntless child," who makes sudden rushes at others, resembling a pestilence, "the scarlet fever or some such half-fledged angel of judgment," who just as capriciously returns to her mother and smiles into her face. As such a being who is this "fire," the living version of the scarlet letter, Pearl appearance and actions underscore her mother's proud and defiant acceptance of her punishment, a pride that was manifested in Chapter II as she stood on the scaffold. Clearly, Hester has Pearl as the crimson symbol of her sin, "the offshoot" of her passion.