Anne Bradstreet's Ideal Puritan Women

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Hester’s Ideal Puritan Woman Qualities The standard of an ideal woman has changed dramatically over the centuries. And the differences are certainly apparent when comparing the modern expectations to the Puritan’s. The most important difference being that the standards were much stricter and the idea of an ideal Puritan woman was very prevalent in society. Consequently, many readings during the 16th century emphasizes the necessary qualities of an ideal Puritan woman. One of which is Jonathan Edwards’ essay, in which he offers a male perspective by describing his perfect woman, Sarah Pierrepont. Additionally, Anne Bradstreet reflects a female view on how an ideal Puritan woman should be through her poem, “To My Dear and Loving Husband.” Lastly,…show more content…
Hester clearly fits into Edward 's description of an ideal Puritan woman. In his essay, he writes, “Is most just and conscientious in all her actions; and you could not persuade her to do anything wrong or sinful.”(Edwards). As stated by Edwards, an ideal Puritan woman should be consistently selfless and kind, not just pretending to at certain times. Also, a kind spirit should not be easily influenced by surrounding negativity. Hester does indeed, possesses these two qualities. To illustrate, Hawthorne writes, “Hester bestowed all her superfluous means in charity, on wretches less miserable than herself, and who not infrequently insulted the hand that fed them.”(Hawthorne, 156) Hester’s selflessness is shown by her willingness to give and benefit others when she recognizes her help is not respected. Nonetheless, she follows her own principles regardless of the recipient 's attitude or her current financial status. In all, she is not accepted by the Puritan society, including the poor, however undeniably, she still possesses the quality of being altruistic and consistently kind with or without other’s
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