Scarlet Letter Feminist Quotes

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The book the Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is a book about Hester Prynne a woman living in the 17th century. Hester commits the sinable act of adultery and is punished being forced to wear the scarlet letter A on her bosom. The symbol punishes her as an adultress and marks her shame, making her an outcast in the male dominated society, as she has gone against the strict restrictions society has imposed. So due to this, in regards to John Updikeś claim about Hester, I agree that she is “a mythic version of every woman’s attempt to integrate her sexuality with societal demands” through wearing the scarlet letter. Although the scarlet letter was meant to be a symbol of punishment, it gave Hester liberation from the social norms. In …show more content…

Since the townspeople shunned Hester from society, it shows that with the scarlet letter, Hester’s role in society was ripped from the moment is was placed on her, making her feel alone “as if she inhabited another sphere”. This ultimately was something that benefited Hester as she no longer needed to follow the puritan law, giving her freedom that most women didn’t have. In chapter 5, Hester uses her talent of needle work as a way to fend for herself and for Pearl. Hawthorne writes “She possessed an art that sufficed, even in a land that afforded comparatively little scope for its existence, to supply food for her thriving infant and herself. It was the art-then, as now, almost the only one within a woman’s grasp - of needle work.” (Hester at Her Needle 56) This quote makes it clear that Hester was able to provide a stable life for her and her daughter through her needlework. When Hawthorne says “She possessed an art that sufficed, even in a land that afforded comparatively little scope for its existence” it is clear that her talent faced difficulty in being a success, …show more content…

In chapter 8 Hester Prynne’s decides to give the governor a visit after she has heard rumors that people want to deprive her of Pearl. The governor tells her “Were it not, thinkest thou, for thy little one’s temporal and eternal welfare, that she should be taken out of thy charge, and clad soberly, and disciplined strictly, and instructed in the truths of heaven and earth ?” (The Elf-Child and the Minister 75-76) Hester responds saying “She is my happiness! - she is my torture, nonetheless! Pearl keeps me here in life! Pearl punishes me too! See ye not, she is the scarlet letter, only capable of being loved, and so endowed with the million - fold the power of retribution for my sin ?” This quote makes it clear that Hester believes Pearl deserves to stay by her side because she is part of her punishment. Even though Pearl is a product of sin, Hester believes that, with her by her side she will be able to retribute her sin, as she is the scarlet letter. Ultimately this is something very important because it shows that Hester has accepted her punishment and itś consequences, willing to take responsibility. Moreover when Hester stands up for herself, against a group of powerful men, she breaks the gender boundaries and is able to present herself as strong women in front of these powerful

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