Radicals And Feminist Movements In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

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Radical Responses The human desire to fight for rights is unavoidable. History has proven that people will always fight against a societal practice they deem unjust as shown during the abolition and suffrage movements. Although Hawthorne opposed abolitionists and feminists because he believed they would cause too much conflict and violence, he acknowledged that slavery was wrong and realized these movements were unstoppable. Nathaniel Hawthorne addresses the consequences of radical change in his book, The Scarlet Letter, through the sin of Hester Prynne. In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne defies the Puritan society’s harsh laws by committing adultery and later redeems herself by becoming a helpful member of Puritan society. Nathaniel Hawthorne responds to the…show more content…
The abolition and suffrage movements were prominent issues during the time of Hawthorne and influenced him to write The Scarlet Letter as a possible warning or solution to the conflict between radicals and conservatives. Hawthorne describes slavery as, “one of those evils which divine Providence does not leave to be remedied by human contrivances.” Hawthorne believed slavery and the subordination of women was wrong and sympathized with those affected. Literary historians believe his sympathy for radicals fighting against social order developed from his unfair treatment in “The Custom House.” However, Hawthorne also believed abolitionists and feminists were too radical and that it was best to continue being subordinate to

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