The perldoc program gives you access to all the documentation that comes with Perl. You can get more documentation, tutorials and community support online at http://www.perl.org/.
If you're new to Perl, you should start by running
perldoc perlintro, which is a general intro for beginners and provides some background to help you navigate the rest of Perl's extensive documentation. Run
perldoc perldoc to learn more things you can do with perldoc.
For ease of access, the Perl manual has been split up into several sections.
Full perl(1) documentation: perl
Perl officially stands for Practical Extraction and Report Language, except when it doesn't.
Perl was originally a language optimized for scanning arbitrary text files, extracting information from those text files, and printing reports based on that information. It quickly became a good language for many system management tasks. Over the years, Perl has grown into a general-purpose programming language. It's widely used for everything from quick "one-liners" to full-scale application development.
The language is intended to be practical (easy to use, efficient, complete) rather than beautiful (tiny, elegant, minimal). It combines (in the author's opinion, anyway) some of the best features of sed, awk, and sh, making it familiar and easy to use for Unix users to whip up quick solutions to annoying problems. Its general-purpose programming facilities support procedural, functional, and object-oriented programming paradigms, making Perl a comfortable language for the long haul on major projects, whatever your bent.
Perl's roots in text processing haven't been forgotten over the years. It still boasts some of the most powerful regular expressions to be found anywhere, and its support for Unicode text is world-class. It handles all kinds of structured text, too, through an extensive collection of extensions. Those libraries, collected in the CPAN, provide ready-made solutions to an astounding array of problems. When they haven't set the standard themselves, they steal from the best -- just like Perl itself.