The Role Of Women In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

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Written in a time when the role of females in society was nothing more than homemaking and childbearing, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter explores the reaction of society to a woman whose revolutionary attitude and demeanor caused debate both within and beyond the lines of the text. Through the powerful influence and contrast of the main character, Hester Prynne, Hawthorne’s novel shows the effect of such a powerful woman on society.
The Contrast of Hester Versus Dimmesdale
Authors have a reason for everything that they do, and in the case of The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne’s stark contrast between the characters Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale is no accident. While Hester Prynne embodies strength, courage, and boldness, Arthur
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His main character, Hester, exemplifies defiance, courage, and boldness, all of which are qualities the typical woman of the time would not be known to possess. The term “Prynne-ism,” describes the shift from the traditional content of texts during that time, discussing an issue that was relatively unspoken of in society (Barlow). The Scarlet Letter sparked a revolution on the idea of the role of women, and what they were capable of. Hawthorne’s ideas were largely in part influenced by the fact that most of his friends were transcendentalists, but these different views offered society a with a different idea of how to women could be considered that had not been shown before. Every decision Hester makes in the novel is important to both her role as both a progressive feminist and as the book’s role in the revolution as well. One key moment in the novel that shows Hester’s bravery and courage is when she had the opportunity to escape the society that had victimized her and to start a new life. But instead, she chooses to continue wearing the letter and to continue to be surrounded by the people that persecuted her to begin
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