The Role Of Women In The Scarlet Letter

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Performing gender through particular masculine or feminine actions is one of the techniques used to differentiate the sexes from one another. Specifically for women, femininity is a very important way of fitting into a community properly. The focus of femininity and the pressure it puts onto women greatly impacts the individual lives as well as the progression of the American identity as a whole. Since both "The Scarlet Letter" as well as "Life of a Slave Girl" were both set in the 1800 's, both texts display many of the same feminine traits for both main female characters. Some general expectations of women in order to be considered feminine include the need for them to be submissive to men, motherly and selfless to children as well being…show more content…
Linda and Hester both struggle with the pressures of femininity but both women also show defiance to the demands which others attempt to force them to do through the strength that they have. For Linda, planning to defy any request her owner gave her to move into a small building he was building for her shows her strength of risking abuse for following her free thought. "When my master said he was going to build a house for me... I vowed before my Maker that I would never enter it." (Jacobs 826). Her defiance against what is expected of her as a slave and her ability to run away and live in a cramped space in order to escape and also witness her children grow, goes against the expectation of a woman being considered weak. For an individual to risk severe punishment and possibly death since running away or refusing orders, her strength to leave and stay hidden against the odds demonstrates great strength. Similarly to Linda, Hester also possesses the strength to follow her own will instead of someone else 's needs. Hester 's strength as a woman challenged the standard femininity ideals of a woman being weak while a man is strong. Even against her husband, she is able to withstand his pressure to discover the name of the child 's father shows her supreme strength as a

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