Feminist Ideals In The Scarlet Letter

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The Scarlet Letter is a perfect example of how one person in a society can defy the traditional social structure. Throughout the literature, Hawthorne presents numerous examples of feminist ideals through the character of Hester. After analyzing and interpreting the meaning of the novel, Hawthorne specifically targets gender roles in societies by making the protagonist of the story a woman. Hawthorne questions the expectation that men should retain all authority and purpose by creating a character that specifically rejects these traditional norms.
Hawthorne continuously demonstrates feminist ideals by characterizing and portraying Hester to be the character that breaks gender roles in Salem society.
Hawthorne expertly begins the novel by addressing Hesters stereotype and persona in Salem society. Hester defies stereotypical aspects throughout the first few chapters
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She understands birthing a child out of marriage is a sin and she accepts the Scarlet Letter as punishment. However, she does not let consequences halt her from being the beauty she has always been. When Hester is publicly seen for the first time with her newborn daughter, Pearl after being released from prison, towns people stated that it was as if she had no other purpose than to reveal the punishment she was given. “Those who had before known her, and had expected to be held her dimmed and obscured by a disastrous cloud, were astonished, and even startled, to perceive how her beauty shone out” (51) Before the Scarlet Letter was given to Hester she was like any other Salem woman in society. However, once the Scarlet Letter was imbedded onto her clothes everything changed. Hester was thought to take this punishment heavily, her neighbors and those who had known her expected Hester to
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