Scarlet Letter Feminist Essay

2438 Words10 Pages
Throughout the course of history, the concept of women being subordinate to men has always existed. However, in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, a woman named Hester Prynne tries to break prejudicial notions against women in a patriarchal society. In the story, Hester commits the crime of adultery and is sentenced by the government to wear a scarlet letter as it symbolizes ignominy. Since she lives in Puritan New England, the people do not value women a lot, her actions becomes a sight of public scrutiny. Yet, with her strength as a woman, she is able to not only survive the situation, but also reverse as she later becomes an important member of their community. In a feminist perspective of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter,…show more content…
Even though Hester faced a lot of adversities in the story, she is able to gain advantages as well when she gains power through the scarlet letter. Aside from power, she is also able to utilize the symbol to exercise her freedom against the laws of a patriarchal society. Furthermore, she is also able to control the badge’s meaning as well because through her charity work for the town, she was able to reverse the interpretation of the public to the scarlet symbol. However, this is not the only source of Hester’s power because apart from the scarlet letter, her knowledge about the concept of silence plays an important for this as well. When she remains reserve despite the constant and intimidating interrogations that she receives on the scaffold, she is able to control the townspeople’s curiosity. Other than control, the scene in the scaffold is also able to prove how determined Hester is especially when she stood up for her decision to keep the father’s name a secret. Moreover, the scene also displays her strength as a woman, which was deemed to be uncommon considering the stereotypes present during the Puritan era. Indeed, despite the existence of prejudice against women in the patriarchal Puritan community, Hester Prynne shows how women can destroy the gender discrimination and make the society
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