Are the majority of women sympathetic or critical toward Hester in The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne?

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The majority of the women in the village are critical of Hester. In the second chapter, "The Market-Place," an older woman in the crowd in front of the scaffold of the pillory suggests that in punishing Hester "they should have put the brand of a hot iron" on her forehead. Another observes that Hester has shamed them all "and ought to die." Another calls her a "brazen hussy," while yet another opines that her dress should be ripped off her shoulders. Only one woman in the crowd, the youngest of the goodwives, speaks sympathetically of Hester and tries to convince the others that Hester will always feel the pain of her transgression and that they should not let her hear them condemning her. Upon her release from prison, Hester lives on the outskirts of the village and her infrequent interactions with the town's matrons do little to improve her status until many years pass and she is able to gradually (yet temporarily) improve the public's opinion of her.

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