The Scarlet Letter

How is Hester treated by the townspeople

In the beginning of the book

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This depends on at what point in the novel you are referring to. Hester is scorned by people when she first emerges from prison. She wears the Scarlet letter and is mocked for it. Hester bears her shame with humility and grace. As the story progresses the townspeople begin to see Hester for her humble charity work and her patience.