The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

1122 Words Aug 25th, 2015 5 Pages
Has the definition of feminism changed over the years, or has it become stagnant? Does the feminism people fight for today correlate with the feminism that Nathaniel Hawthorne witnessed? And finally, does his novel, The Scarlet Letter reflect feminist viewpoints in a positive manner, or masked misogyny? The general consensus is that The Scarlet Letter was written as a pro-feminist novel, seeing as Hester Prynne is considered one of the first feminist role models in American literature. Hester was outcasted in her Puritan community as an adulteress, tortured by her peers and adulterer, and seemingly confined by gender roles, but still prevailed in the end. Though she was put through numerous trials in her life, Hester Prynne remained strong, as she fought for herself, her daughter, and all the other women in her time period and beyond. In The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne wrote a female character that was considered a “non-member” of her Puritan town and was excluded from the community. Because of this, Hester was able to form her own identity that helped her become somewhat included in the community. The identity that was chosen was a mother. Hester’s motherhood is what starts her on her journey with the scarlet letter. The fact that Hawthorne decided to portray an adulteress as also a mother gives another point of view to her situation. It makes Hester more of a person with flaws and rough edges rather than a stereotype seductress. In a setting where women were either…

Related Documents