Essay on The Scarlet Letter, By Nathaniel Hawthorne

1076 Words Aug 29th, 2016 null Page
Women have been battling for their rights since before the colonization of America. Whether they be the right to vote or simply the right to sit down, the issues the female gender has dealt with have rarely afflicted white men. Sexism is caused by social pressure and insecurities, harbored by both men and women; it can originate within the mind of any group of people and creates unnecessary tensions between sexes. The sexism integral to The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, manifests itself in the whole community and contributes to the completion of Hester’s harsh fate.
Sexism is apparent in the men of Boston; they treat women as shallow, conniving creatures who only wish to accomplish their own ends. “Is there no virtue in woman, save what springs from a wholesome fear of the gallows?” (Hawthorne 35), exclaims a man in the crowd which gathers with anticipation to gawk at Hester Prynne, a young adulteress who has fallen prey to unfortunate circumstance. A group of men, the patriarchs and leaders of the town, are to decide Hester’s fate; Arthur Dimmesdale, a young minister, is among the judicious panel. An older clergyman orders Dimmesdale to coax Hester to disclose the identity of her lover, but she refuses; her withholding the information seems to relieve Dimmesdale. Even though the judiciary panel attempts to find the father of Pearl, the child, they give up after Hester keeps her silence; however, they reward her with a lifelong sentence of mortification: she must…

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