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The Scarlet Letter

Nathaniel Hawthorne
Summary Key Questions and Answers
Summary Key Questions and Answers

7) What is the first clue that Dimmesdale is Pearl’s father?

The first clue that Reverend Dimmesdale is Pearl’s father is revealed in Chapter III, The Recognition, when Hester is asked to name the father of her illegitimate child, Pearl. When Hester refuses to name the man, Reverend Dimmesdale clutches his chest and murmurs, “Wondrous strength and generosity of a woman’s heart! She will not speak!” His relief at her decision to remain silent suggests that he may be the beneficiary of Hester’s generosity.