This entry is for The Scarlet Letter Chapters 1-6
Hester is doing the best job she can with the brand that has been placed upon her, it is no wonder that she thinks about others out there that should also be wearing the same shame on their chest as she does.
"She shuddered to believe, yet could not help believing, that it gave her a sympathetic knowledge of the hidden sin in others hearts"
And the question at the top of page 99 "(Had Hester sinned alone?) Of course she didn't, it was in these days that women were looked at as less than men in all aspects of life. My question is, not knowing the outcome of the book, if she would have given up the "father" of her Pearl would he have been ridiculed and put on display as she was and what would they have branded him with? The fact that Hester does not revile him is a reflection of the women of the days that were strong and confident in their own right even if society choose to see them as less than equal.
As for being the only sinner that was to wear the Scarlet Letter, she was not proud of it but it didn't stop her from living and raising her child and the fact that she could have moved away and left behind all the past but choose not too was another testament to her courage and character.