The Scarlet Letter, One Good Time, And Woman In The Nineteenth Century Literature Analysis

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“For the weak and immature man will, often, admire a superior woman, but he will not be able to abide by a feeling, which is too severe a tax on his habitual existence” (Fuller 75). Within the three pieces of literature, The Scarlet Letter, “One Good Time,” and “Woman in the Nineteenth Century,” each boldly steps outside of the traditional female gender roles during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. They define how women should be treated or provide proof that women are strong and resilient. In a strong Puritan patriarchal society, these types of characteristics rebel against their beliefs. In addition to the literary sources, there are documented cases where women were put on trial or defamed for expressing their opinions about women’s …show more content…
In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne refuses to leave town after she receives her sentence, “Here she said to herself, had been the scene of her guilty, and here should be the scene of her earthly punishment…Hester Prynne, therefore, did not flee” (Hawthorne 93). She refuses to let society and her sin dictate how she lives her life. Her resilience was intimidating. In addition, Margaret Fuller’s book is a bold statement about the assigned gender roles, encouraging women to step outside of the box even though it will take time. She writes, “You ask, what use will she make of liberty, when she has so long been sustained and restrained? I answer; in the first place, this will not be suddenly given” (101). She acknowledges the challenge but believe it is possible for women to live a life of their choosing. This type of rebellious strength was also a factor in Ann Hibbens’ trial, she refused to be broken. Westerkamp explains, “Repetitious complaints that Hibbens’ spirit had not been broken imply that the only acceptable Puritan woman was under complete control” (576). Both situations are critical in understanding how the strength in a patriarchal society was threatened by women who refused to be confined in their role. The opinion of men, as seen in Ann Hibbens’ case, was that opinioned, strong women are harmful to society and that men should maintain dominance over them in order to keep

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