Hester Prynne: A Feminist Hero

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Throughout history, fragile masculinity has undeniably oppressed women’s rights. The patriarchy believes in its superiority to all women. In the 1600s, misogyny was so embedded into society that it was accepted as normal. Feminists were nonexistent because the male population exerted their power over them. Nathaniel Hawthorne shattered these boundaries with his novel, The Scarlet Letter. The protagonist, Hester Prynne, displays characteristics that make her a feminist hero. Hester is able to resist her punishment’s constraints and challenge the prejudiced court officials in the process. While her sin is plastered across her chest as a constant reminder of her past, she attempts to find feasible ways to live a normal life, defying the Puritan society’s standards. She surpasses all limitations that are put on her as a woman who has committed adultery. Her confidence and determination allow her to rise above patriarchal confinements and live her life independently. Hester is confident in her ability to take care of Pearl as a single…show more content…
In a state of rebellion, Hester adorns the letter to look like a large decoration on her dress rather than the symbol for an unforgivable sin. When the letter is first revealed to the townspeople, Hawthorne describes it as “so artistically done, and with so much fertility and gorgeous luxuriance of fancy, that it had all the effect of a lasting and fitting decoration to the apparel which she wore” (51). The elegant appearance of the scarlet letter distracts people from its true meaning. Hester does not feel ashamed for her sin; therefore, she is outwardly defiant toward the officials that insist on ridiculing her in front of the entire town. They truly believe the scarlet letter on her chest is the most painful form of torture. Hester beautifies the letter, boldly demeaning their notions. She challenges anyone who denies her ability to delegate
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