How Is Hester Prynne A Feminist Novel

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American Literature’s first feminist character
A trend was started by the novel, The Scarlet Letter. Nathaniel Hawthorne took a path with the character Hester Prynne that took many by surprise. Hester Prynne from the acclaimed novel, The Scarlet Letter, is one of American Literature’s first and influential feminist characters that shows superiority while being fearless and having an influence on modern literature and culture.
In the novel, The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne is accused of adultery and is forced to wear a scarlet letter A on her chest. While Hester owned the sin, the father was not as strong as Hester to face the sin. With this shame, she was forced to live in isolation with her child. As Hawthorne states in chapter 18,
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While Hester is a feminist, not only does she share the ideals but shows superiority to the town while being fearless. " It may seem marvelous, that this woman should still call that place her home, where, and where only, she must needs be the type of shame.” (chapter 5, paragraph 2) Hester does not let the shame and remorse of the sin keep her away from the town like most would do. Hawthorne even states that Dimmesdale is weaker than Hester by punishing himself and holding his heart while Hester embraces the sin and is strong while carrying the letter on her chest. She leads a self-righteous life, although she could keep what she earns, she gives most away. Even the townsfolk say Hester is "so kind to the poor, so helpful to the sick, so comfortable to the afflicted."(chapter 13, paragraph 5) Hester can be seen over the townspeople helping them although they shamed her. Hawthorne presents that Hester’s “tendency of her fate and fortunes had been to set her free.” (chapter 18, paragraph 2) With this Hester has a “radiant and tender smile, that seemed gushing from the very heart of womanhood. (chapter 18, paragraph 12) These quotes from Hawthorne show that Hester’s kindness helps her overcome her sin on her own. With Hester’s contribution to the town, “Her handiwork became what would now be termed the fashion.” (chapter 5, paragraph 6) In his research, Sacvan Bercovitch remarks that “Hester Prynne ‘builds upon the tradition of the biblical Esther -
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