Hypocritical Values Of Women In The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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In The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne believed that women should be allowed to rise above the stereotypical puritan values. He thinks in many ways that women were strong and had greater character than most men. Hester Prynne was the embodiment of Hawthorne 's forward thinking views and ideals. Women of this time were not thought of as able to overcome hardships and trials because they were considered weak, but Hawthorne showed throughout the novel how women can be strong individuals. Although Hawthorne classifies Hester as being strong and self- sufficient, The Scarlet Letter fails to overcome the hypocritical patriarchal values of Hawthorne’s time because to be a woman, one must be strong, sacrificial and emotional, which are stereotypical rather…show more content…
“Some attribute had departed from her, the performance in which had been to keep her a woman. Such is frequently the fate, and such the stern development, of the feminine character and person, when the woman has encountered, and lived through an experience of peculiar severity” (148). Hester is built off the notion of a woman who goes against the puritan beliefs and values. Hawthorne does believe that Hester is able to embrace her sin however, she experiences redemption. Hawthorne is suggesting that townspeople no longer see her as an “adulterer” but as someone who is able. Moreover, Hawthorne thinks that the change in which Hester experiences is not a good one. Hawthorne states, “Much of the marble coldness of Hester’s impression was to be attributed to the circumstance, that her life had turned, in a great measure from passion and feeling, to thought” (210). Hawthorne is trying to convey that Hester from a life of passion to one of quiet thought. A woman can not manipulate conformity unless she has undergone an inner change. Hester is not able to overcome her issues by her passion alone, but with her thought. Hawthorne is suggesting that although Hester gained her respect from society, her sole worth is to please everyone else but herself, ultimately conveying that one must create a life of happiness for themselves in which Hester tried to do. Moreover, Hawthorne is praising the thought of individuality suggesting that Hester, a woman, can be her own

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