I kind of feel you on this. I mean, I think it’s rude to throw pennies at your girlfriend in an alley, but then again earlier that day she was planning to have him come home to her dead body, so a bit of rage is understandable. He probably already has survivor guilt over not ending up dead in the war somehow even though undoubtedly he knew lots of people who had died, and then for her to try to add herself to that list, when he loves her? I would be mad, too.
Ooh, I just realized something else that is making me biased here — I just remembered that a friend of mine (no longer a friend — it’s been several years) used to get absolutely hysterical about her birthday every year. Like, you basically had to plan her some earth-shattering surprise party, and she always took the day off for her birthday, and she would keep track of how good of a present you got her… ugh. Like, as a grown person. She was like 25 and 26 and acting this way. So maybe I am automatically set against Hester for this reason as well ;) (Which is not to say that I dislike her character — I think Rachel Weisz played her so well — you can see her despair in her actual body. She makes me feel it in my gut. But when I back up and look at the whole story, I have to come down on the side of Freddie, for trying to make an adult decision after a string of not-well-thought-out actions.)
Anyone else? Weigh in!! :)
EDIT: I have often wondered why Hester didn’t just see Freddie on the side. He doesn’t really seem like relationship material, and certainly doesn’t seem like that good of a provider. Her husband was content to never have sex with her, and I’m not sure he would even have minded if she took up with another man, as long as she was discreet about it. It seems like it would have suited everyone — even the Judge’s horrifying mother — if Hester and Freddie just snuck around. Then they could have kept their relationship about sex, and the Judge could have made her a little cake and given her books for her birthday. Everybody wins.