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Feminism In Scarlet Letter

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Many writers have contributed to the idea of feminism by promoting heroines that defied the odds of a harsh society. Such a character can be found in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter which reveals the lack of respect that women received when they choose to act according to their desire, against the society. The Scarlet Letter provides an in depth analysis on women’s rights and their value in the society during the late 17th century. While Hawthorne was writing the novel, The Scarlet Letter, a feminism movement began to take root in American history which helped Hawthorne to be aware of the women’s movement for their rights and freedom. Hawthorne’s attitude toward women and being sexist demonstrates the fact that Hawthorne has feelings of aversion toward feminism and thus this identify him as a true feminist. In other words, Hawthorne was trying to illustrate to the reader that during his time how there was an inequality that existed between the sexes and the oppression that was going on between men and women. Hester Prynne can be used as an example of a true feminist, as she makes her own way in a society that has devalued her. Hester Prynne is a woman whose shameful act is literally seen on her bosom, yet she finds strength from that label. She uses the stigma of the adultery as a way to create a new path in her life, to go to places where other women never venture to and do things that other women do not dare to do. In accordance with this idea, Hawthorne writes, “The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers,—stern and wild ones,—and they had made her strong” (180). This shows that even though Hester had been prosecuted by the to... ... middle of paper ... ...nd modern feminist. Hawthorne uses many aspects of Hester Prynne to display her as a feminist character and demonstrate women’s rising for their rights and freedom during that time period. Her actions demonstrate her strength and her value as a person independent of the expectations placed on her as a woman. The actions of society placed this character in a feminist plight, a fact plainly addressed in her thoughts. Hester Prynne, compared to other women during that time period was different because she always fought and stands up for herself and her only daughter. It was her inner strength that helped her to stand out from the crowd and make differences in the society on behalf of women’s struggling for rights. Hester Prynne, from every prospective can be defined as a true feminist because of her own actions and circumstances that led to changes in the society.
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