In Chapter 10 of "The Scarlet Letter," what does Pearl see in Chillingworth?

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katemschultz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As Chillingworth and Dimmesdale are talking, Hester and Pearl come through the garden. In addition to dancing on graves and attaching burrs to her mother's scarlet letter, Pearl throws a burrs at the window through which Dimmesdale and Chillingworth are looking. Dimmesdales shrinks back and Pearl says to her mother (referring to Chillingworth):

"'Come away, mother! Come away, or yonder old Black Man will catch you! He hath got hold of the minister already. Come away, mother, or he will catch you! But he cannot catch little Pearl!'"

Pearl, in her own instinctual, almost supernatural way, can sense the evil or malice lurking in Chillingworth. He isn't there to help Dimmesdale; he's there to obsessively find out what is going on with Hester.

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The Scarlet Letter

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