In society you can be seen as either obligated to it or as an individual separate from it. Hester Prynne is an individual that is separate from it (Puritan society). It is often argued that Hester is a romantic, but with evidence provided by the novel it is apparent that she is a transcendentalist. The romantic characteristics may apply to her at times, but her character in full is inevitably transcendental.
If Hester is seen as romantic her problems would have been rooted with Puritan society and its evils. But all of her downfalls are based on decisions made by her own inner thoughts and feelings. The tragedy of Dimmesdale dying can only be seen as the tragic flaw of the character, and not a tragedy to society. The "evils" of the puritan society never made its way into the life of Hester, but the burden of having to deflect it made her a problem to herself.
Although Hester can be seen as both, she is, inevitably, a transcendentalist. Hester's decisions are based on her own intuitions, not that of the Puritans. The scarlet letter was "[...] taking her out of the ordinary relations with humanity, and enclosing her in a sphere by herself." Her confidence and use of the scarlet letter as a motivational tool separates her from the Puritan use of the scarlet letter as a means pf punishment. Hester is "[...] so helpful to the sick, so comfortable to the afflicted!" Her creation of a new identity for herself individualizes her from the rest of society. No longer viewed how the Puritans expected the rest of society to view her as, Hester no longer carries a burden of punishment, but the burden of creating her own identity.
Her final words of true intuition, "Be...