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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:


She wishes to first find forgiveness from her husband.


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


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


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


She wishes to outlive her accusers.

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