In "The Scarlet Letter", why is Pearl instinctively warm with Dimmesdale?

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ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Pearl seems to have an intuitive sense that Dimmesdale is her father. She watched the scene between the governor and her mother and saw how Dimmesdale intervened on her behalf. Perhaps this is when she began to suspect her real relationship to Dimmesdale. However, she is not always warm to him. During the second scaffold scene, she asks the minister if he will acknowledge her and stand on the scaffold with her and her mother at noontime the next day. Dimmesdale rejects her suggestion but adds he will stand with her "on judgement day." She replies that he is not true and not kind. She also washes off Dimmesdale's kiss after the forest scene in which Hester removes the scarlet letter. At the end of the novel, when Dimmesdale does admit he is Pearl's father, she finally stands speechless as he dies.

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