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After describing the extent to which Hester's feminine beauty has vanished in seven...

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southerngirl97 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 2, 2013 at 11:35 PM via web

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After describing the extent to which Hester's feminine beauty has vanished in seven years, Hawthrone says: " She who has once been a woman, and ceased to be so, might at any moment become a woman agan if there were only magic touch to effect the transfiguration. We shall see whether Hester Prynne were ever afterwards so touched, and so transfigured." What future development in the novel do you think this last sentence might foreshadow?

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StephanieRR | TA , Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted October 25, 2013 at 4:12 AM (Answer #1)

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Hester has become a fallen women because of her affair with Dimmsdale. The idea that something in the future might transfigure her to how she used to be points to the possibility that Dimmsdale will eventually confess. By coming forward and admitting to his part in the affair, Dimmsdale will take up some of the burden that Hester has been carrying since she publicly confessed to adultery. Until he confesses, all of the shame and ridicule is directed at her, and she is seen as an enabler because she refuses to say the name of the other person involved in her sin. Dimmsdale's confession can restore a little of Hester's image in the public eye.

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