The Scarlet Letter And The Handmaid's Tale, And When She Woke

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Just as Hillary Jordan’ main protagonist Hannah has been put into boxes her whole life, literature tends to think in boxes as well. Novels are put in different genre boxes and the characters are, through their character traits, in boxes as well. This thesis has three boxes as well, in this case called chapters. Within each chapter it will be tried to break these boxes open and discuss why not everything can be put in just one box and why society should start to think outside the box. The three novels in question are Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and Hillary Jordan’s When She Woke. At the first glance, these three novels have not much in common, but taking a closer look, the three novels are inseparably linked through genre, gender, and generation (intertextuality). The first chapter deals with genre. The question what genre is will be answered and how the three novels The Scarlet Letter, The Handmaid’s Tale, and When She Woke are situated within the genre canon. All three novels can be categorized as belonging to the genre of dystopian literature. Of course this is not the…show more content…
It is set in 17th century Boston. Hester Prynne has just been branded with the scarlet letter A to repent the sin of her adulterous affair. Hester never mentions the name of her fellow sinner, but her daughter Pearl is living proof that Hester had sinned. Hester tries to find a way to give her daughter the life she deserves and find penance for herself. The arrival of her presumed dead husband Roger Chillingworth does not make her life easier since he swears to find Peal’s father and avenge his honor. He comes close to uncover Arthur Dimmesdale participation in Hester’s sin but never fully succeeds. The gilt stricken pastor tries to find forgiveness for his sins, but in the end dies, after confessing his love to Hester. Hawthorne’s novel is about sin, repentance, dignity, and
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