The Scarlet Letter

Where do Hawthorne's sympathies lie? How do you know?

In Ch. 5

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I think Hawthorn's sympathies with Hester are evident the moment she is released from prison. Although Hester's heart is "sick" with suffering, there is a sense of radiance, beauty and pride which the people could not take away from her. In Chapter 5 Hester is physically free of the self-righteous villagers in that she is no longer locked up. Hawthorne gives us Hester's feelings of freedom and liberation despite the letter on her chest. Hester's needlework (note the title of the chapter) separates Hester even farther from the others. It is a God given talent which shines from within. Nobody else in the village has anything close to that,