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What reasons does Hawthorne give for Hester’s remaining in Boston, where she is an outcast?


Hester remains in Boston, where she is an outcast, because her sin has in fact made Boston her permanent home. It has added a different kind of meaning to her life in binding her soul to Boston. It is thus impossible for her to leave and begin a new life somewhere else, since she has already established hers here. Boston is also where Dimmesdale is, which gives her more reason to stay. She imagines that they will eventually be together again in heaven and that her daily punishment will purify her soul, but will only do so here, since this is where she sinned and was punished.


More Questions

1. What reasons does Hawthorne give for Hester’s remaining in Boston, where she is an outcast?
2. Hawthorne mentions three main occasions for which the people of Boston made use of Hester’s sewing skill. What are they? What is one occasion for which Hester is never asked to make clothing?
3. What does Hester do with any spare money that she might have?