Women´s Role in The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Female Evolution in the United States

Do you believe that women of this present generation have always received the same level of respect as they receive now? Today, women are treated exceptionally well as compared to their counterparts in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and treated even better than those in the very early years of America. Women in the past were restricted from freedoms and rights; their individuality was stripped and they were constantly forced to meet the constraining view of a “traditional” America. In contrast, women of modern America are granted a level of recognition and respect unexplored by American women of previous generations.

Women were unfairly judged in the past. Throughout American history, females have been regarded as the inferior gender, always doing something wrong. For example, In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the main character, Hester, is exiled to the outskirts of her town with her daughter, Pearl. The people in Hester’s town mistakenly believed that Hester had an affair during her husband’s absence; she was actually raped. This mid-seventeenth century Boston society was automatically disgusted by the fact that Hester gave birth during her husband's absence. They wrongly accused her for not being loyal when she was actually forcefully raped. The novel describes this situation by saying, “She would become the general symbol at which the preacher and moralist might point, and in which they might vivify and embody their images of woman’s frailty and sinful passion” (Hawthorne 5.1). Men were unfairly perceived as the superior individuals and less pressure was on them. Women were seen as innately sinful and, therefore, have a tarnished image because of that. They are str...

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...rules of conduct’ that spelled success for men. Now a second wave of women is making its way into top management, not by adopting the style and habits that have proved successful for men but by drawing on the skills and attitudes they developed from their shared experience as women.” Let it be known that this gradual process of more and more women exercising their own freedoms have led to the independent women that lead America today.

Throughout most of history women generally have had fewer legal rights and career opportunities than men. Wifehood and motherhood were regarded as women's most significant professions. In the 20th century, however, women won the right to vote and increased their educational and job opportunities. Perhaps most important, they fought for and to a large degree accomplished a reevaluation of traditional views of their role in society.
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