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That Hester chooses to live near the woods, on the border between forest and the town, is a clear and potent metaphor for her place in limbo between the spheres of the moral and immoral. Indeed, Hester seems to be trying to live in both worlds simultaneously, which results in her further degradation and the increasingly clear fact that she will have to make a choice. Either she must assimilate to Puritan tradition and follow their laws to the letter, or she can roam free and follow her passions and instincts while losing her connection to society. Her society barely tolerates someone living in the moral world while having an immoral action in one’s past.