"But, in their great mercy and tenderness of heart, they have doomed Mistress Prynne to stand only a space of three hours on the platform of the pillory, and then and thereafter, for the remainder of her natural life, to wear a mark of shame upon her bosom." (43, Chapter 3)
Exposition: Hester Prynne has been declared a sinner, due to her affair and pregnancy with another man aside from her spouse. She refuses to name the father.
As a punishment for her crimes, she is forced to wear a scarlet letter for the rest of her life.
"I must forever bear my sins with this letter!"
"Let him live! Let him hide hide himself in outward honor, if he may! Not the less he shall be mine!" (52, Chapter 4)
I shall never reveal the father of my baby!
Mark my words Hester: I will find him and I will make him suffer!
Furthermore, Hester encounters her spouse, Roger Chillingworth, and he claims to pursuit the man who she had affair with.
“...and she saw that, owing to the peculiar effect of this convex mirror, the scarlet letter was represented in exaggerated and gigantic proportions, so as to be greatly the most prominent feature of her appearance. In truth, she seemed absolutely hidden behind it.” (72-73, Chapter 6)
Rising Action: A few years later, Hester must bear the hostility from the townspeople while taking care of her daughter, Pearl, independently.