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Hester looks back at her childhood while on the scaffold and sees happier times. Her fantasies and pictures of the past somehow relieve her pain of the cruelty being inflicted upon her.
Hester was born in England and grew up there. She later met a scholar who was slightly deformed, having a left shoulder higher than his right. Her husband, later revealed to be Roger Chillingworth, first took her to Amsterdam and then sent her to America to await his arrival.