What does it mean that Hester has "Cast away the fragments of a broken chain"?

Expert Answers info

gbeatty eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2007

write2,654 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Science

A fine question. Hester, and all women at this time, were bound to society's expectations. This binding took the form of social expectations, internalized judgments, codes of ethics, explicit preaching in sermons, and even laws. These are the chain that Hester seeks to cast aside: those fragments that she still carries in her mind and heart. This is bittersweet, because while this is meant to be a sign of freedom, many of the chains that bound women are considered positive: male approval, social approval, marriage, etc. Hester has to cast aside these "links" too.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial