The intense writing perfectly reflects the subject matter. Hester Prynne, despite being a social outcast is able to live with some degree of freedom, and forge her own life, whereas her lover whom she refused to name is weighed down with the burden of guilt and shame. Shame for the sin he has committed and shame for allowing Hester and his daughter to stand alone. In the end it is Hester who has to be strong for all three of them, because her lover is so weak and afraid of the consequences of his actions, both within the community and before God.
I have to say I didn't really enjoy reading this classic. The writing is quite hard to understand at times and you find yourself reading the same passage over and over again. The subject matter is very heavy and intense, so despite it being a quite a short book it took me a very long time to read. I'm a big fan of classics but this one was not for me.