The Scarlet Letter

On the other hand what qualities of Hester seem to be diminishing during these years of wearing the Scarlet Letter? What causes these changes?

chapter 13

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Hester's appearance has changed over the years, but for the worse. Rather than having her youthful good looks, she now seems more like a shell of a human being. Her "rich and luxuriant" hair either has been cut off or remains hidden under a cap. But she "might at any moment become a woman again, if there were only the magic touch to effect the transfiguration."