Having met Arthur Dimmesdale in the forest because she is determined to speak with the minister about the treachery of Roger Chillingworth, Hester Prynne begs his forgiveness for not having revealed Chillingworth's true identity. As Dimmesdale is perplexed about what action he should take, he asks Hester to "Resolve for me!" She chastises him for his weakness and asks him if his world is only in "yonder town." Hester suggests that he let the sea take him back to England, but Dimmesdale cannot bear the thought of going alone. Hester then answers, "Thou shall not go alone!"
Having promised to accompany him, Hester then looks into the minister's face with hope and joy."Thou wilt go!" Hester calmly tells Dimmesdale. After saying this, Dimmesdale is elated and feels resurrected with renewed powers.
"Let us not look back," answered Hester Prynne. "The past is gone! Wherefore should we linger upon it now? See! With this symbol I undo it all, and make it a if it had never been!"
Hester undoes the clasp that holds the scarlet letter to her bosom, and she casts it into the forest where it lands near the little brook by which Pearl has been playing. Relieved of the burden of her sin, Hester feels freedom from its weight and a womanly radiance comes over her as she removes her cap and allows her hair to fall. As she does so, it seems that the richness of her womanly beauty returns to Hester.