Feminism In Scarlet Letter

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The definition of the term, “feminist” has changed throughout the course of history. Today, feminism is presented as the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of economic, political, and social equality to men. In other words, a feminist is an advocate or supporter of women’s rights and equality. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Scarlet Letter, women are generally portrayed as inferior to men. Feminism was not in existence in the setting of Hawthorne 's novel , nor was it supported at its publication. Nevertheless, women 's advancement in society is made apparent in The Scarlet Letter by the novel’s main character, Hester Prynne. Unlike the submissive women of the Puritan community, Hester pursued her sexual desires and now accepts the …show more content…
In 17th century New England a woman did not need to earn her livelihood; women relied on their partners to earn income for the maintenance of households. Hester was forced to become self reliant after being shunned by inhabitants of her community. Her ornate and beautifully detailed embroidery caused a demand for Hester’s work, which became her source of income. This is a true success for Hester, and womankind, interpreting that women are not dependent upon men; they can earn their lives with their own hands and …show more content…
Hester Prynne is the opposite of the womanly ideal in 17th century New England. Nathanial Hawthorne’s depiction of Hester illustrates a rebellious, independent, and strong woman who withstood major adversities. Although she suffered enormously from the consequences of committing adultery, Hester did not allow isolation, shame, or judgement to dominate her life. She was proud of her talents and skill which earned a living for her and her daughter, Pearl, and was confident in her abilities as a mother. Hester chose to raise a child by herself in isolation and protected the ones she loved. It is Hester’s strength and lovingness that changed the meaning of the letter at the end of Hawthorne’s novel. The original meaning of the letter, “Adulterer”, fades and it eventually comes to mean “Able”. The Scarlet Letter narrates the story of a strong woman who took control of her life, no matter the consequences. Hester Prynne is truly the first American heroine and is the embodiment of

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