Chapter Seven: The Governor's Hall
Although Pearl is Hester's daughter and she clearly cares for her, Pearl serves as too great of a reminder of Hester's sin in the way she embodies the "unpremeditated offshoot of a passionate moment." Hester provides care, clothing, and shelter for Pearl, but cannot give her the love that an only daughter would usually enjoy. As the living and breathing embodiment of Hester's sin, Pearl causes her mother emotional stress. With this in mind, the passage "Though must gather thine own sunshine. I have none to give thee" can be interpreted in multiple ways.
Hester may be attempting to prepare her daughter for a life in which she must be able to sustain herself emotionally. For although Hester cannot ignore the pain that her daughter causes her, she does want what is best for her daughter. By encouraging Pearl to provide her own emotional support, Hester is teaching Pearl that a person must make themselves happy because no one else is able to provide that feeling for him or her. This stability will allow Pearl to grow into a strong, independent person, as she is sure to do due to the isolation she will face because of her mother's legacy. Hester may be trying to strengthen Pearl's coping techniques so that she does not become depressed as Hester is. Learning how to self motivate and encourage is an important prevention technique in regard to fending off depression.
Hester's quote could also be interpreted as a sign of her depression. She may not have any sunshine to give because she herself is also searching for some. Depression can result from social isolation, which is a situation that Hester clearly faces. Shunned by society, she may have developed a negative outlook on life. Symptoms of depression that fit Hester are feelings of self-loathing and guilt. While the initial cause of her depression was the stress induced by isolation from society, the symptom of becoming withdrawn from society only serves to worsen her condition. Society begins to forgive her, but she no longer finds the pang of insecurity when the colonists stair at her scarlet letter. She has rejected society. This creates a cycle that prolongs her isolation.
Information on depression was found on http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001941/