Essay on The Genesis of Feminism in Literature

Essay on The Genesis of Feminism in Literature

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Feminism is a theory that all sexes should have political, economic, and social equality. Hawthorne was a writer during the Romantic Era in literature; one of the many individuals fired by their ideals sought to tell the world about them through their works (e.g. art, literature, music). Hawthorne was raised by his spouseless mother, which probably led him to believe women could be equal to men. Hawthorne grew up with “his mother became overly protective and pushed him toward relatively isolated pursuits” (Grade Saver 1). Whilst Hawthorne’s single mother life prospered, his odium for the belief of Puritanism started when he learned his association to Judge John Hawthorne, one of the judges who oversaw the Salem witch trails. Hawthorne loathed his ancestor and the belief profoundly enough to add a “w” in his last name to disregard any association with his predecessor. The Puritans do not believe in women staying alone without a male companion. On the contrary, his work The Scarlet Letter, introduces the first protagonist that is a feminist. Therefore, because Puritans beliefs were mainly anti-feminist this leads to the question whether Hawthorne was a feminist or not. I credit Nathaniel Hawthorne to be a person that supports feminist ideology through his works, his life and his past.
As a basis, author prepensely make the protagonist of his or her work a certain way, which in turn expresses the author’s own personal beliefs. Hester Prynne, the protagonist of The Scarlet Letter, is considered to be one of first strong willed, independent female protagonists in American literature that she became classified as a feminist. Hester proves to be a feminist when instead of leaving her community for the comforts of England; she stays an...


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...ual in America. Furthermore, this starts a lineage of American literature revolving around feminist ideology. It should be known that if Hawthorne is a feminist and made Hester that way purposely then he had just fueled feminist ideals in women and English literature. Therefore if Hawthorne is a feminist then it is beyond the restraints of logical doubt that his works and many others may have helped women procure their equality in social, economic, and political standards. 



Works Cited

Batti, Shalu. "Puritan Family Beliefs." Puritan History (2011): 2. Print.
Grade Saver. "Biography of Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)." Biography of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Grade Saver, 2014. Web. 07 Mar. 2014. .
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter. Clayton, Delaware: Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Classics, 2008. Print.

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