The Scarlet Letter’s Ending

Recently, I have been thinking about the following passage near the end of The Scarlet Letter:

But there was a more real life for Hester Prynne, here, in New England […] Here had been her sin; here, her sorrow; and here was yet to be her penitence. She had returned, therefore, and resumed,–of her own free will, for not the sternest magistrate of that iron period would have imposed it,–resumed the symbol of which we have related so dark a tale. (165)


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