Essay On The Treatment Of Men And Women In The Scarlet Letter

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The Scarlet Letter, a novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1850, functions as an evaluation of Puritan ideas, customs, and culture during the 17th century. Through this evaluation, we can get a good idea of what core values and beliefs the Puritans possessed, as well as the actions they take in cases of adversity brought about by “sinners”. Some Puritan virtues created stark divisions between groups of people, some of which led to discrimination under certain circumstances. One of the most prominent of these is the treatment and standards of men and women, a concept that surfaced during some of the major points in The Scarlet Letter. The divisions that were created by Puritan standards of men and women played a great role in shaping the plot of The Scarlet Letter, determining the fate of many of the characters. In this essay, we will focus on the effects this ideology had on the treatment of Hester and Dimmesdale, and the effects it had on Dimmesdale after he confessed to committing adultery. The Puritans’ treatment of women is blatantly evident at the beginning of the book where Hester is awaiting conviction upon the scaffold for her act of adultery. The townspeople present at the trial presented a very negative sentiment towards Hester,…show more content…
One of the key examples of this in The Scarlet Letter is Dimmesdale, a highly respected preacher who was renowned throughout the Puritan community. When the Puritans learned of his involvement in the adultery case with Hester, they were shocked at first but overall, they did not mock or insult him like they did to Hester 7 years prior. This is clearly shown in their reactions shortly after Dimmesdale confessed: “The crowd was in a tumult. The men of rank and dignity, who stood more immediately around the clergyman, were so taken by surprise, and so perplexed as to the purport of what they
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