Feminism In The Scarlet Letter Essay

990 Words4 Pages
The Other F-Word: Feminism in The Scarlet Letter The concept of feminism is defined as “political, economic, and social equality of the sexes” (Merriam-Webster). Contrary to prior belief, it is not raising women above men. This was a fear held by many men in the nineteenth century. Therefore, Hawthorne was restricted in how he made the characters of The Scarlet Letter powerful within the society by what society feared. Throughout the novel, Nathaniel Hawthorne attempts to write a novel that is ahead of its time by showing feminist tendencies through Hester, however the constraints of his society and that of Puritan society force his writing to portray women in a negative light.
The term feminism was created in 1837 by Charles Fourier, but it was
…show more content…
One argument for this is that Hester held the power to reveal the father to the community. The townswomen are gossips and they all want to know first who is the father of Pearl: “And who, by your favor, Sir, is the father of yonder babe... and the Daniel who shall expound it is yet awanting” (Hawthorne 6). The community is on edge to hear the news, and at first look it would appear like Hester has power over them. However, Hester would never give up Dimmesdale due to her loyalty to him. Hester and Dimmesdale were too connected romantically that Hester, being the kind woman she was, was too loyal to make him undergo the same treatment she had faced. Despite this, Dimmesdale would not have had to face the same treatment that Hester faced, which shows that Hester was weaker than Dimmesdale. Hester had to confess to her sins because of Pearl and after time passed she was free to live albeit the Letter. Dimmesdale had to live with more than seven years of keeping his secret and still maintain his status as a role model for the
Open Document