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Patriarchy In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

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From the early beginnings of the human race in which males became the dominant sex in providing for families through hunting, women had a degradation of their position in society. In turn, patriarchy is what would be used in societies throughout different historical phases.” Hawthorne- living in Salem, Boston and later Concord, Mass. - ‘was very, very aware of the growing feminist insurgence. Women’s rights were a part of the cultural conversation.’ ”(Barlowe) One can say that Nathaniel Hawthorne’s purpose for writing the Scarlet Letter was to portray the struggle that women have for submitting to what society demands, which took place in the past and still continued to his day, through Hester Prynne. From the first chapters of the story, we that it is men who hold…show more content…
Hawthorne wants to portray just how much a women can change emotionally and outwardly based on other’s perceptions. When the reader is introduced to Hester, she is seen as a bold defiant women who was shaken by the mockery and stares of the townspeople, but as the story progresses she slowly begins to lose her identity as the community begins to accept her. She becomes submissive, “She never battled with the public, but submitted uncomplainingly,”(126) and “… many people refused to interpret the scarlet A by its original signification. They said that it meant Abel; so strong was Hester Prynne, with a woman’s strength.”(127) In the later chapters, when finally confronting Dimmesdale, she make the decision of freeing herself from the clutches of the badge and her neighbors in Salem in order to fulfill her and her families happiness, despite what other may think of her. Hawthorne shows that strength of the dignity of all women and their power to overcome change. As Stanton states in regards to all women, “the right is ours. Have it, we must. Use it, we
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