In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Pearl is the daughter of Hester Prynne and a product of Hester's adulterous relationship with a minister, the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. Hester Prynne was married to Roger Chillingworth, and thought herself a widow at the time of the adulterous relationship. While Hester is jailed and pilloried for adultery, she is determined to keep Pearl and create a life with her.
The name Pearl is derived from the Bible, specifically Matthew 13:45-46, which is a parable comparing the kingdom of Heaven to a merchant:
... who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
This suggests that Hester will sacrifice everything for Pearl, who is the most important thing in her life. It implies that for Hester, Pearl is more important than worldly goods or reputation. In the comparison of Pearl to Heaven, it emphasizes a model of Christianity in which a mother's love for her child is a form of Christian piety, and that the sin of adultery counts for less in the eyes of God than Hester's devotion to Pearl.