The Role Of Hester Prynne In The Scarlet Letter

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Feminism is the philosophy advocating equal political, economic, and social rights for women. The idea of feminism was not at all prevalent during the 1850s when Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter was published. In spite of this, Hawthorne wrote one of the most influential feminist novels of his time: The Scarlet Letter. This novel was hailed as an important feminist novel because of the main character: Hester Prynne. Hester Prynne is the very embodiment of feminism because of her refusal to adhere to the societal norms, her independence in thought, and how the view of the society around her changes through the novel. One of the main reasons why Hester Prynne is an important and progressive feminist character in The Scarlet Letter is her refusal to follow societal norms or to be put down by her peers. A primary example of her refusal to be put down by her peers is when Hester brandishes her…show more content…
Even though she is supposed to be humiliated in front of the town as punishment for her adultery, she smiles proudly and wears her scarlet letter as a badge. In this instance, Hester refuses to accept her punishment thereby nullifying the punishment. If Hester were to be embarrassed on the scaffold, she would give her punishment the power to be a punishment. However, when Hester instead smiles on the scaffold, she shows that she won’t let her sin control her, no matter what the other townspeople think of her. Another example of how Hester denies her punishment is how she designed the scarlet letter. Hawthorne describes the letter: “in fine red cloth, surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold thread, appeared the letter A. It was so artistically done, and with so much
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