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Feminism in the Scarlet Letter

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Jane Jonga
Research Paper
11 March 2008
Hawthorne’s Hester Prynne and Feminism
“In Heaven’s own time, a new truth would be revealed, in order to establish the whole relation between man and woman on a surer ground of mutual happiness” (ch.24).The definition of feminism would be women are inherently equal to men and deserve equal rights and opportunities. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s, The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne is the key example for feminism in the novel. In Puritan times, women were thought of as lesser than men. Women’s purposes were to raise children and give them good morals and values. Women did not have jobs; they wore the plainest clothes, and sat quietly by their husbands’ sides. Passion and happiness were considered to be a
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Hester as a woman in a strict Puritan community takes all the blame, Dimmesdale as a man, does not get punished by man-made laws. “The Scarlet Letter remains entirely male-dominated, both in terms of its compromising population and its attitudes and assumptions” (Barlowe 2). It is male-dominated because the authority is run by males, and the wives have no say in any decisions, because they are believed to be weak, so men make all the decisions while women
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