How is the bond between mother and daughter demonstrated between Pearl and Hester in "The Scarlet Letter"?Are there any qoutes to support the mother and daughter bond?

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sullymonster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hawthorne begins by simply mentioning Hester's desire to give all she could to her child.  Although a skilled seamstress, Hester keeps her own clothing plain and drab (save for the scarlet letter).  However, she makes an effort to dress Pearl up, showing her love:

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...

Then we find out that Hester has been very careful in naming her daughter, making the name significant of the child's importance:

But she named the infant “Pearl,” as being of great price ... her mother's only treasure!

Hawthorne suggests that Hester has little control over Pearl, but is clear to enforce that the two have a bond between them, sharing some similar qualities and situations:

All this enmity and passion had Pearl inherited ... out of Hester's heart. Mother and daughter stood together in the same circle of seclusion from human society; and in the nature of the child seemed to be perpetuated those unquiet elements that had distracted Hester Prynne before Pearl's birth

When faced with losing Pearl, the bond between them is clearly spoken, and Hester explains how much her own life is wrapped up in her daughters:

God gave me the child!... She is my happiness!—she is my torture, none the less! Pearl keeps me here in life! Pearl punishes me too!

Read the study guide:
The Scarlet Letter

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