Why does Pearl not tell Dimmesdale the real identity of Chillingworth?

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In The Scarlet Letter, it is Hester who keeps this secret; her daughter, Pearl, learns the information much later. The man who goes by the name of Roger Chillingworth is actually Hester Prynne ’s long-lost husband, who was presumed dead. When he returns and sees that she has...

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In The Scarlet Letter, it is Hester who keeps this secret; her daughter, Pearl, learns the information much later. The man who goes by the name of Roger Chillingworth is actually Hester Prynne’s long-lost husband, who was presumed dead. When he returns and sees that she has a child, Pearl, he insists that Hester not reveal his true identity. Hester has already been punished by the town for adultery, as the baby was born long after her husband left; part of her punishment is wearing a red letter “A” on her clothes. The town’s pastor, Reverend Dimmesdale, begs Hester to go public with the father’s identity but she refuses.

Obsessed with finding out the father’s identity, Chillingworth takes up residence with Rev. Dimmesdale and soon realizes that he was Hester’s lover. Dimmesdale’s guilt has eaten at him so much that he has been cutting the letter “A” into his own flesh, as Chillingworth finds out by peeking into his shirt while he sleeps. Hester fears what Chillingworth will do in retaliation if she crosses him and tells who he really is.

Pearl is described as “elf-like,” an extraordinarily sensitive and intuitive but also moody child. As she grows up, one day she meets Dimmesdale and realizes the secret he has been keeping. Hester, in turn, finally tells him who Chillingworth really is. She can no longer bear being around Chillingworth, and begs Dimmesdale to run away with her. He agrees and then changes his mind and as he publicly confesses his long-held secret, reveals the “A” cut into his flesh. His infected wound soon kills him.

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