The Scarlet Letter, By Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

1067 Words Sep 28th, 2015 null Page
Marie Shear once said, “Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings” (Feminism 101). The privileges women receive today are unlike the limited ones afforded to them in the Puritan society. Women were not viewed as strong, independent characters because that image was usually associated with men. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, the main heroine, Hester, is an exception to the viewpoint of women being incompetent. Although the book is not entirely centered on women’s rights, The Scarlet Letter shows Hester as a courageous woman, and that contributes to the novel being perceived as feminist. Being strong was not a quality commonly affiliated with women, but Hester is nevertheless a strong woman in the period in which she lives. The main responsibilities of men in that time were to work and provide money for his family, while women were normally left to clean and cook. Being without a husband, Hester Prynne does the tasks of both genders on her own. Although her public punishment leaves her with little in the way of customers, Hester still provides all the basic needs for her family. Because Prynne commits the crime of adultery, her sentence requires her to bear the burden of wearing a red, scarlet “A” for the rest of her days. To don such an object of ridicule in the highly judgmental Puritan society must have been completely overwhelming, but Hester bravely does it in spite of it all. Even when given the opportunity to remove the “A,” Hester…

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