Of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter And Wilderness And The American Mind?

1621 Words 7 Pages
We live in a world that has continuously assigned a predetermined value to specific things, people, and groups, as a way to create social order and establish a feeling of certainty among humans, who thrive on the feelings of superiority, security, and comfort. These are all feelings that social constructs concoct because they rely on putting people into boxes and labelling them as something they should be, which in turn, benefits one’s own mind because we exclude things that are unfamiliar to us and thus, take power away from them. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter and Wilderness and the American Mind by Roderick Frazier Nash, one is able to discern a connection between the role women play in Puritan society as the product of a socially …show more content…
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic American novel, Hester Prynne does not adhere to the conventional thought of womanhood in her Puritan society, as she exemplifies the feared characteristics of independence and self-determination applied similarly to the wilderness in Roderick Frazier Nash’s piece. In this way, Hawthorne is able to redefine what it truly means to be a woman, and through her role as a caretaker for fellow women of the community, depicts the importance of accepting difference embodied by the wilderness by breaking free from societal gender expectations, rather than trying to control it, because this change in attitude allows for unique and powerful …show more content…
In using Hester Prynne as a model, he was able to give new and positive characteristics with which women could define themselves. Through the true feminine character Hester Prynne embodies, Hawthorne was able to explore the unique idea of women being accepted after straying away from the expectations that have attempted to categorize them. The struggle of doing so, which could be seen in the novels by a human desire to control things we fear, such as the “wilderness” and difference, is still strongly prevalent in our modern society. Thus, the authors are able to show us the difficulty of breaking free from social expectations because women today still live at a disadvantage, as they still carry around with them negative stereotypes and receive less pay in comparison to men for the same jobs. As a result, it is our job to try to change the way we see things, so that we can come to respect more women like Hester Prynne as a

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