Essay about The Scarlet Letter: The Book vs. the Movie

Essay about The Scarlet Letter: The Book vs. the Movie

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The Scarlet Letter:  The Book vs. the Movie   


Demi Moore's portrayal of Hester in the movie The Scarlet Letter proved her worth as a feminist actress, which led her to other, more modern female empowerment roles ranging from Striptease to GI Jane.  But in the moviemakers 'attempt to give the story what they might think is a little modern flavor, they barbarously misconstrued the theme, and thus the importance, of a timeless story.  In the novel, there can be little doubt that Hester is a strong person, but the movie made her out to be a martyr for women's rights.  The female empowerment theme of the movie also inevitably led to the characterization of Christians and their ethics as tyrannical and oppressive because the feminist perspective of Christianity is exactly that.  However, the novel whole heartily agreed with Christianity and its conception of sin, while it questioned the nature and relation of sin and humanity.

The character of the two main characters in terms of gender was oddly reversed in the movie, which clearly was done to appeal to the feminist audience.  The movie added countless scenes to prove Hester was as capable as any man at running a household, especially in the first half of the movie.  In the novel, she did live by herself and did support herself and her child.  But this was to assert her strength as an individual.  Instead of questioning her individuality, the movie emphasized her strength as a woman.  In three separate scenes, another character questioned her ability as a woman doing manly things and in all three she replied and proved that she could.  The first was at the dinner table of the Governor, where she asserted that she would find a place of her own and live by herself.  The secon...


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...rt of being human and perfection is unattainable, hence the faith and hope that God will save that Christian through grace alone.  The film on the other hand is a constant bombardment of one-sided criticisms based on what those non-Christian critics believe to be Christian ethics.  To these critics I offer this definition of Christian:  It means "Christ like." If they were versed in Chris's actions and teachings at all, they would know that most of the supposed Christian ethics in the film were not Christian at all.  He did not treat anyone as an outcast.  He never persecuted anyone because of who that person's mother, father, or people were.  And He was never vengeful.  The movie typified the normal, ignorant criticism of Christians by feminists in movies today.

Works Cited:

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter. 1850. New York: The Modern Library, 2000.

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