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Hester is released from prison and finds a cottage in the woods near the outskirts of the city, where she begins to set up her new life. She does not avail herself of the opportunity to escape to a new life without shame in some other city. The narrator remarks that people often are drawn irresistibly to live near the place where a “great and marked event” has occurred. He further comments that even if that is not the reason, Hester may have been inclined to remain in Boston because her secret lover still lived there.