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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To begin, Nathaniel Hawthorne utilizes pathos throughout his writing to imprint the importance of individual conscience into the reader 's mind. Hawthorne begins the book by having the reader pity the main character, Hester Prynne, as she is a young, husbandless, mother in a society that shames her for her unfortunate circumstances: “haughty as her demeanor was, she perchance underwent an agony from every footstep of those that thronged to see her, as if her heart had been flung in the street for them all to spurn and trample upon” (Hawthorne, 53). The consistent misfortune of Prynne evokes emotion in the reader and stresses the weight of her decisions. Prynne manages her way through such a hostile society -“Happy are you, Hester, that wear the scarlet letter openly on your bosom” (Hawthorne, 188)- in a way that is metaphorically applicable to the real world, allowing the reader to truly connect and understand the character for who they are.
The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in the nineteenth century, provides insight into the social stigma surrounding gender equality in his own community and era. Throughout the chapters, Hawthorne's uses Hester to provide a direct reflection to the lives of women in the nineteenth century. Hawthorne employs devices such as specified diction which pertains to each individual character, multiple shifts in the tone used in order to draw attention to shifts in judgment or beliefs of characters, and imagery in order to validate his overall personal belief that women deserve the autonomy and respect that men have possessed for centuries. Hawthorne uses the Scarlet Letter as a novel for social change by characterizing Hester as a woman
Society has had a long history of belittling both people and their individuality, and also not allowing people to reach their full potential. In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hawthorne is constantly talking about society in a negative way. Hawthorne himself is a transcendentalist who views society as a terrible institution and a way to stop people from reaching their true potential. Hawthorne's view of both puritan society and society during his time plays into his view and characterization of Hester Prynne. Hester Prynne is a fictional character who committed a sin and was publicly shamed and shunned from society because of it.
The exploration of societal pressures. Life can be separated into two equal parts totally independent from one another. The inner self, being the innermost thoughts and feelings of the individual, and the outer self, how the individual decides to conduct itself around the others in society. Often times one of these parts takes control of the other, suppressing its partner. The suppression is often not of equal frequency because of the obligation humans feel to be liked and to fit in causes the outermost self to be given the most thought and worry.
However, he also uses these allusions to create a new side to his narrative as evident when he describes Hester’s resilience, and to create a new element in the plot as evident in his description of Dimmesdale’s penance and need for redemption. Therefore, Hawthorne demonstrates an effective use of allusions to craft a religious and detailed narrative for The Scarlet Letter by reviewing on parallels between the Bible and the novel’s main characters. There’s more to The Scarlet Letter than these allusions though, and there are many questions to answer about this book. These questions may never be answered fully, but by reading the novel itself, we might find the right places to start searching for answers and formulate our own opinions on the matter. What’s important from this novel is the realistic warning about what might happens when an individual place themselves too highly among others, a message Hawthorne writes to warn against the fervor of transcendentalism of his time.
The Scarlet Letter, a novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1850, functions as an evaluation of Puritan ideas, customs, and culture during the 17th century. Through this evaluation, we can get a good idea of what core values and beliefs the Puritans possessed, as well as the actions they take in cases of adversity brought about by “sinners”. Some Puritan virtues created stark divisions between groups of people, some of which led to discrimination under certain circumstances. One of the most prominent of these is the treatment and standards of men and women, a concept that surfaced during some of the major points in The Scarlet Letter. The divisions that were created by Puritan standards of men and women played a great role in shaping the plot of The Scarlet Letter, determining the fate of many of the characters.
A Role Model that Transcends Time Hester Prynne changed dramatically throughout the course of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s, The Scarlet Letter. Initially she was viewed as the antagonist and was a destructive character to those around her. After being confined in her cottage with Pearl, she began to develop a sense of who she needed to become in order to efficiently raise Pearl. Hester’s ability to do what was necessary for her improvement made her into a respectable role model for women to shadow. Hester chose to isolate she and Pearl to create a wave of self-improvement. Because of Hester’s mysterious, seductive, and rebellious actions, she demonstrated the characteristics of a byronic hero.
Hawthorne uses many forms of rhetoric to portray his characters, but relies heavily on pathos in the instance of Hester Prynne. She’s a member of an inherently misogynistic society, and because she’s a woman, her every act is scrutinized. As punishment for her act of adultery, Hester is ordered to adorn her chest with a permanent scarlet letter. Although the audience is well aware of the atrocity of the sin she’s committed, Hawthorne’s writing sparks a feeling of empathy within the reader. Throughout the novel, the reader is exposed to several clear uses of pathos.
This interpretation reflects Hester's remarkable strength and ability to help others, despite her punishment and societal condemnation in the view of the Puritans. Hawthorne also states that, “Individuals in private life, meanwhile, had quite forgiven Hester Prynne for her frailty; nay, more, they had begun to look upon the Scarlet Letter as the token, not of that one sin for which she had borne so long and dreary a penance, but of her many good deeds since. ‘Do you see that woman with the embroidered badge?’ they would say to strangers. ‘It is our Hester—the town’s own Hester—who is so
Compare/Contrast Essay Chelsea Cain, a famous novelist once said, “I’ve always been more interested in what happens after the bad thing has happened-the fallout of the bad thing, when the people are already damaged. I’m less interested in seeing people when they’re fine and following their journey to becoming damaged” (Brainy Quotes). People can never see the good in people they see the one mistake they have made. Hester, and the woman form the barrio make one mistake and the rest of their life are judged by it. Nathaniel Hawthorne author of The Scarlet Letter, and Estela Trambley, author of “The Burning” are both similar stories by using the comparison of the townspeople, being unexpected by the church and finally seeking happiness by the
The hypocritical society is blinded by how they should punish Hester that they are not showing kindness to Hester. Hawthorne creates the book to show how an individual spirit must overcome the difficult obstacles in the society cultural
Feminist literary criticism Pride and prejudice and the scarlet letter implement misogyny and use their own century’s gender roles to criticize the inequality in women. Both the novels see the women as inferior; as on Pride and Prejudice females are seen as a status tool that marries into a higher class and obtains a higher status. The Scarlet letter shuns women by holding a female accountable for her sins, humiliating and punishing them by forcing to wear a red scarlet letter a that lowers their status,gives them a bad look, and negatively affects the first impressions of anyone they meet. There are contrasting and similar differences in their constructive criticism towards women In The Scarlet Letter, there is a lot of examples and evidence
New Historicism Literary Analysis Essay Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter was influenced heavily by the time era it was written in. To achieve a fuller understanding of the work as a whole it would be best to start by analyzing the time era in which it was written. There are many historical facets that can be explored to help determine some of the underlying meaning in The Scarlet Letter .
Although she is looked down upon by the society in the beginning of the novel, she is transformed into a symbol of strength, something typically reserved for men, towards the end of the novel. “The letter was the symbol of her calling. Such helpfulness was found in her,—so much power to do, and power to sympathize,—that many people refused to interpret the scarlet A by its original signification. They said that it meant Able; so strong was Hester Prynne, with a woman’s strength” (Hawthorne 146). Through her suffering, Hester had become an inspiring symbol of strength for the community.
In The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne effectively conforms to the conventions of the gothic genre for the purpose of characterizing the Puritan society as oppressive, portraying the hypocrisy found within the society and highlighting the consequences for not confessing