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After noting how surprising it is that Hester chooses to remain in Boston after her public censure, Hawthorne suggests that

she remains to be near her lover.

He also suggests a more complicated reason:

A

She wishes to first find forgiveness from her husband.

B

She feels compelled to haunt Boston while her lover goes unnamed.

C

She can only learn to forgive herself at the scene of her sin.

D

She cannot forget her sin and her past life is dead.

E

She wishes to outlive her accusers.

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