The Scarlet Letter, By Nathaniel Hawthorne

1384 Words6 Pages
Imagine a society where religion seems very critical and has little individualism. Religion played a very significant factor in Puritan life, so they were required to read the bible and live every moment in a respectful manner to God. Puritan societies believe in doing God’s work, so if someone did not follow the testament, harsh punishments were inflicted upon them. The Massachusetts Bay Colony portrayed itself as a man’s world, where they went to town meetings and made decision about their community in the church. Females were not allowed to participate or have their own opinions in their community, and if they were to go against the rules, they had cruel punishments decided by the dominated males. In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne depicts a patriarchal, Puritan society that oppresses Hester Prynne by signifying her as a sinner, adulterer, and an outcast of society, but Hester Prynne represents herself as a silent rebel through her feminist consciousness. Even though Hester Prynne exemplifies herself as a rebellious spirit, others may have a different perspective of her as just a shameful, disrespectful woman in her Puritan community. The society understands her a dishonorable woman, since she defied her Puritan rules by being an adulterer. With most of the shame coming from her community, Hester’s public harassment justifies itself by her being a married woman, who had sexual relations with another man that was not her husband. Confirming further, Hester seems as unfaithful woman to her husband and to her religion. Being publicly humiliated, Hester undergoes moral agony from wearing the Scarlet Letter and showing herself on the scaffold while holding Pearl, her baby girl, at the market place (Doren 34). At the scaf... ... middle of paper ... ... has to portray themselves as selfless, independent, and defying, like Hester Prynne. Hester Prynne shows herself in The Scarlet Letter as a female who struggled with male dominance in her society, but she overcomes the powerful, Puritan males by defying them with her own perspectives. Hester, compared to other traditional woman, enables herself to be represented as a very distinctive female. She was embodied with her noble character of rebellious spirit, self-reliance, and strong mind; all these factors contribute to what feminism encourages. Hester abled herself to transform and improve the old world to new world, and she believed in the possibility of a new morality in the world. Using her female conscious, Hester establishes herself as a silent rebel through her self-reliance, independence, selflessness, and defying nature in her Puritan, male dominated society.
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