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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?


The three main occasions for which the people of Boston make use of Hester’s sewing skill are “public ceremonies . . . the installation of magistrates, and all that could give majesty to the forms in which a new government manifested itself in the people,” funerals (clothing the dead), and clothing newborns with baby linen. (34-5). Hester is never asked, however, to embroider a bride’s white veil, which is supposed to symbolize purity.


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?