For the Puritans, Hester is set apart as a sinner; yet her nature demonstrates her strength and goodness. In Chapter XIII, for instance,
Hester's nature showed itself warm and rich; a well-spring of human tenderness, unfailing to every real demand, and inexhaustible by the largest....so strong was Hester Prynne, with a woman's strength.
Hester tends kindly the sick and the dead, and her letter comes to be perceived as meaning Able and even Angel. Further in the chapter, the rulers and the "wise and learned men of the community" are in accord that Hester's good qualities have had much influence upon the people. Not only does Hester perform charitable deeds, but she is independent of spirit: "She assumed a freedom of speculation."
In a time of the subjugation of women, Hester possesses an independence of thought, and is much ahead of her times. For, the "dark question" of women's rights in her society enters her thoughts. She perceives that there are three steps that must occur before women achieve independence: (1) Society as exists in her time must be torn down and rebuilt; (2) men's perception of women must change; and (3) women must undergo a "mightier change" by which the "ethereal essence" is altered.
Human for having sinned,but penitent, fiercely protective of her child Pearl, inexhaustible in her charity towards others, independent of thought and spirit, determined, and true to all, Hester Prynne, is indeed an excellent role model.