Gender Roles In The Scarlet Letter

1103 Words5 Pages
Almost 150 years old a text, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter can be viewed as a saga of a woman who let her heart take the charge of her head and faced consequences.
Set in the first half of seventeenth century in a Puritan village in Boston, Massachusetts, few years before the novel begins, Hester Prynne arrived to the ‘New World’, her arrival was soon to be followed by her husband’s arrival. He was in Europe to fulfill certain commitments. However, things took a different turn in his absence. Hester Prynne was accused of adultery; she was branded with the scarlet letter A. The novel traces the course of hardships of Hester and her illegitimate child Pearl.
Before proceeding, it is necessary to have an understanding of the formation of New England. It is necessary to know of the culture, its occupants and history. As the
…show more content…
It can be noted through the narrative that values and tradition of the Puritan settlement influence the social as well as the gender expectations. The story have been viewed in various dimensions including- as a tale of sin and its consequence, isolation, redemption, passion, love and struggle against society’s conventions.
Through Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne challenges the conventional view of men and women in Puritan New England.
It is interesting that Hester, who on one hand is suffering from social isolation, exhibits a desire to be once more accepted as a full member of the community and on the other, her passionate spirit and her personal, moral laws seem to be directly opposed to the Puritan belief which deems her sin as evil and docile; being a woman, she is expected to behave submissively. However, she doesn’t, challenging the notion attached with woman. She thus questions the existing stereotypes concerning
Open Document