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While Hester Prynne (the protagonist from Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter)is able to sew "for the ceremonials of pomp and state" she was not allowed to "embroider the white veil."
Hester has been charged and sentenced with committing adultery proven by her illegitimate child, Pearl. Hester begins to sew so as to make a living for herself and her daughter.
Many people come to Hester for her renowned embroidery skills. She had provided her services to the Governor, military men, ministers, babies, and used on the coffins of those who had died.
Hester was not able to work on garments used for weddings because society "frowned upon her sin" and did not want her to touch the "white veil which was to cover the pure blushes of a bride." Basically, Hester's hands were looked at as sinful and people did not want her to tarnish the purity of the bride's attire.
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