Expectations And Standards Of Society In The Scarlett Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Expectations and standards of society are often forced on women who are shamed for having a different lifestyle or demeanor. These expectations can cause their self-identity to deteriorate as they change into who others want them to be rather than who they want to be. Social media like TikTok and Instagram have caused trends in modern society to rapidly change. Seemingly overnight, something that was deemed popular by an influencer is now “cringy”. Many people feel pressure to keep up with these trends to help themselves better fit into an expectation. Consumer trends like fast fashion and over-consumption further influence fast-changing trends. Beauty standards and different lifestyles go in and out of style creating confusion and complex …show more content…

When Hester moved to Boston, she stood out. She had moved to Boston and had planned on meeting her husband there but after a few years, he still had not shown up. The people in her community as well as herself thought that he was dead because he hadn’t shown up. Everyone knew that her husband wasn’t with her, so when she had Pearl, she was harshly judged by the people around her. Purity was a very important value in Puritan society and they disliked Hester because she had broken that value. As people’s comments become harsher, Hester begins to change. In the beginning of The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne describes Hester as “the young woman was tall, with a figure of perfect elegance… she had dark and abundant hair, so glossy that it threw off the sunshine with a gleam, and a face which… had the impressiveness belonging to a market brow and deep black eyes” (Hawthorne 50). She is described as a beautiful person whose appearance is seemingly flawless. After she has Pearl and people have learned her “secret”, she is no longer seen as beautiful. Hawthorne describes her as revolting and hard to look at. She changes her clothes to muted colors and covers her hair. Her change in appearance represents the change in her identity. Her previously colorful and unique personality changed into a cookie-cutter style and personality that matched the other women in Puritan society. She also covers her hair which I think represents her covering her personality. As she begins to cover her hair and change how she dresses, she loses part of her identity. Hester is praised by people in society for volunteering and helping out those in need and she dresses similarly to them. While she feels like she fits into Puritan society, she doesn’t feel like herself. Hester feels pressure from the Puritans to

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