This Boy’s Life

Pearl Character Analysis

Dwight’s youngest daughter, who is the same age as Jack. Pearl is odd and unattractive, and though Jack initially dislikes her, they soon bond. Even after Dwight’s violence becomes so bad that Jack and Rosemary move out, Jack continues to be friends with Pearl at school, comforting her and sharing lunches with her.
Get the entire This Boy’s Life LitChart as a printable PDF.
This boy s life.pdf.medium

Pearl Character Timeline in This Boy’s Life

The timeline below shows where the character Pearl appears in This Boy’s Life. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 8
Identity and Performance Theme Icon
...Rosemary that she immediately wraps her in an embrace. Dwight introduces his youngest daughter as Pearl. The elder daughter, Norma, is seventeen (and, in Jack’s eyes, “ripe and lovely”), while the... (full context)
Identity and Performance Theme Icon
...converted war barracks. After the meal, Rosemary and Dwight go out with friends while Norma, Pearl, Jack, and Skipper clean up and play Monopoly. After the game, Jack falls asleep; he... (full context)
Identity and Performance Theme Icon
Abuse Theme Icon
...stories about her and Jack’s past and their adventures together. Jack plays Chinese Checkers with Pearl, and the two of them have a grand time. The next morning, Dwight drives Rosemary... (full context)
Chapter 11
Abuse Theme Icon
...signs the boy up for Boy Scouts, gives him a load of chores, and instructs Pearl to act as a spy when he isn’t around, reporting on whether Jack is keeping... (full context)
Identity and Performance Theme Icon
Abuse Theme Icon
Education Theme Icon
...with her boyfriend, Bobby Crow, and Skipper is hard at work customizing his beloved car. Pearl, meanwhile, hovers near Jack, clearly spying on him and reporting back to Dwight about his... (full context)
Chapter 12
Identity and Performance Theme Icon
Abuse Theme Icon
...Arthur demands Jack “take it back,” and eventually Jack relents. When Jack goes back inside, Pearl warns him that he’s going to be in trouble.  (full context)
Storytelling and Escapism Theme Icon
Abuse Theme Icon
Rosemary helps Jack take a shower and clean his cuts and bruises. Pearl urges Rosemary to tell Dwight about Jack’s fight—Rosemary exhaustedly suggests Pearl tell him herself. Rosemary... (full context)
Chapter 15
Abuse Theme Icon
When there are shooting matches in other towns, Dwight makes Jack and Pearl come along with him and Rosemary. After each match Rosemary wins, Dwight becomes sullen and... (full context)
Abuse Theme Icon
...Rosemary wins a rifle match and she and Dwight go into the tavern to drink, Pearl and Jack are left alone in the car and try to come up with ways... (full context)
Chapter 16
Storytelling and Escapism Theme Icon
Abuse Theme Icon
Education Theme Icon
...Dwight about the idea of Jack going to Paris, and Dwight is “all for [it.]” Pearl, meanwhile, is insanely jealous. Jack begins telling his friends at school about his impending year... (full context)
Chapter 17
Storytelling and Escapism Theme Icon
Identity and Performance Theme Icon
...a while. Jack is in bed by the time she comes back, crying loudly to Pearl and Rosemary in the kitchen. (full context)
Chapter 22
Abuse Theme Icon
One afternoon, while Pearl and Jack are in the kitchen eating hot dogs, Dwight comes into the room and... (full context)
Chapter 28
Abuse Theme Icon
After Rosemary leaves for Seattle, Pearl becomes despondent. Jack often sits with her at school lunch, and the two maintain a... (full context)