It has been often said that what we value can be determined by sacrifice. How does this statement apply to a character from The Scarlet Letter? How does this sacrifice illuminate the character's values?

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Hester Prynne is an excellent example of a character who makes personal sacrifices for the good of others. Hester's primary sacrifice is that of her own reputation for the sake of protecting her former lover, Reverend Dimmesdale. It is Hester's sacrifices for Dimmesdale and for their daughter, Pearl, that make her character admirable and heroic despite her status as a marked outcast. Hawthorne is also able to paint Hester as an admirable character through contrasting her with the male protagonist and with the town at large. 

Although she is married to Roger Chillingworth, Hester has an affair with Arthur Dimmesdale after Chillingworth is presumed lost at sea. Their relationship results in their daughter, Pearl. Hester bears this child as an unmarried woman and, as a result, she is marked with the "A" for adultery. She must stand on a scaffold with her child before the entire town, subject to their ridicule and condemnation. Meanwhile, the man who was her partner in the adultery and the father...

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