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Essay on Feminism in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

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Written in 1850, The Scarlet Letter stood as a very progressive book. With new ideas about women, main characters’ stories intertwined, and many different themes, The Scarlet Letter remains today as a extremely popular novel about 17th century Boston, Massachusetts. Not only was the 19th century a time for the abolition of slavery movement but it was also the beginning of the first wave of feminism. Women such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucretia Mott catalyzed the women’s rights movement. These prominent women believed that a woman’s role was no longer in the house and that women should be afforded the same opportunity as men. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s sympathy for women is evident in a feminist reading of his novel The Scarlet Letter.
The product of a sin, Hester’s daughter, Pearl, was deeply constructed by Hawthorne to be a strong willed, intelligent character. Puritan children were always told to obey their parents and to be calm. Pearl was different. “After putting her finger in her mouth, with many ungracious refusals to answer good Mr. Wilson's ques...


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