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Chillingworth, Hester's husband, feels utterly betrayed by her as she had an affair with Dimmesdale. He regards her as purely sinful.

Dimmesdale still loves Hester but because he committed adultery with her he feels terribly guilty and, until nearer the end of the story, tries to keep his distance from her.

Society has completely condemned Hester as a fallen woman for having committed adultery, and has branded her with the symbol of the scarlet letter.

Pearl loves Hester, her mother, but wonders at her isolated position in society and often asks her searching and awkward questions.

Hester's own view on herself is that she has indeed sinned, and so accepts society's punishment, but she does not think she has to submit completely, and still continues to love Dimmesdale and even plans to flee with him later in the novel.

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