The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne And The Awakening

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The gender prejudice that exists in society does not only affect the individual being discriminated against, but the people close to them as well. This is demonstrated through the novels The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne and The Awakening by Kate Chopin. The Scarlet Letter follows the story of a woman named Hester Prynne who is forced to wear a scarlet letter “A” on her chest as punishment for her crime of adultery. The Awakening follows the story of a woman named Edna Pontellier and the struggle that she faces when she has an affair and separates from her husband and her family. In both novels, the protagonists must endure the restrictions placed on them by society which leads to the destruction of the relationships they have with people close to them. The family members of the protagonists are also affected by the societal norms and restrictions placed against women. Each character holds onto their own symbol of freedom and identity which consequently affect people close to them. Also, each character has their own way to confront with the detriments of society in place against women. Through the analysis of the established relationships with other family members, symbols of freedom and identity, and each character’s confrontation with society, the protagonists of The Scarlet Letter and The Awakening struggle with their identity through the restrictions placed against them in society, ultimately destroying the relationships they have with their loved ones. The

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