Up until the moment that Dimmesdale acknowledges Pearl and receives her kiss upon the scaffold, she has been a symbol. She's been the scarlet letter imbued with life, a wild symbol of her parents' sinful union, an elf-child, a symbol of nature like a bird or a flower: but she's never just been a little girl, an innocent child. In this moment, Pearl ceases to be a symbol. The narrator says that when Pearl kissed Dimmesdale's lips,
A spell was broken. The great scene of grief, in which the wild infant bore a part, had developed all her sympathies, and as her tears fell upon her father's cheek, they were the pledge that she would grow up amid human joy and sorrow, nor forever do battle with the world, but be a woman in it. Towards her mother, too, Pearl's errand as a messenger of anguish was all fulfilled.
Thus, Pearl finally becomes a sort of normal human being after this: no longer a symbol of something beyond her but just her. She develops feelings that she's never had before, and no longer...
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