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The second chapter is entitled "The Market Place." Chapter one describes the entrance to the prison and a symbolic wild rosebush that grows nearby. The chapter begins when a great deal of the inhabitants of Boston are gathered around the "iron-clamped oaken door" of this prison. There is an anxious and anticipatory mood as they speculate who it is that will emerge. This scene illustrates the intensely religious and rather oppressive nature of living within puritan society.
The first paragraph of the synopsis for The Scarlet Letterin eNotes' study guide offers another good description of chapter two:
The Scarlet Letter opens with an expectant crowd standing in front of a Boston prison in the early 1640s. When the prison door opens, a young woman named Hester Prynne emerges, with a baby in her arms and a scarlet letter "'A" richly embroidered on her breast. For her crime of adultery, to which both the baby and the letter attest, she must proceed to the scaffold and stand for judgment by her community. "
The entire study guide can be found at the link below.
Hester and her child leave since they are now free and go somewhere safe
Now freed, Hester and her baby girl, Pearl, move to a secluded cabin.
For more about chapter 1 and 2, go to the enotes.com study guide for the chapter summary of the Scarlet Letter
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