Hester Prynne In The Scarlet Letter

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Most simply put in a quote from Cheris Kramarae, “feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings” (Good Reads.) In the 19th century, when The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne was written, it was most commonly used to “label” the fight for women’s vote and property ownership. Now in the 21st century it is used to fight for equality between men and women in politics and the workplace. Hester Prynne is a feminist because it can be inferred that she disagrees with the notions that women have to hide their feelings and when women are convicted of adultery that it is their fault, and that their lives become an open book, while their partners can continue the closed and private life, they’ve always lived. It is implied that she believes…show more content…
An example of this would be Hester and Dimmesdale. After they committed adultery together, Hester’s went to jail and suffered a life of no privacy and daily recognition and shame because of her sin. Dimmesdale at one point after she gets out of jail even tells her, "Heaven hath granted thee an open ignominy, that thereby thou mayest work out an open triumph over the evil within thee, and the sorrow without. Take heed how thou deniest to him—who, perchance, hath not the courage to grasp it for himself—the bitter, but wholesome, cup that is now presented to thy lips!" (Hawthorne 56) Here, Reverend Dimmesdale, who would later be revealed as Pearls father, is speaking out about the fact that since Hester committed a sin her life would be flipped upside down while he, would go relatively consequence free (this would later be revealed to be untrue). Having to have her life change because of the act of adultery while Dimmesdale didn’t suffer, is proof that women and men adhere to different standards. “The affair was just as much Dimmesdale's fault as it is Hester's fault, yet Hester takes all of the blame for their shared sin. If the town knew that Dimmesdale was the father of Pearl, the community would have turned into chaos..he is putting Hester in a terrible situation by not speaking up.” (Alicia G.) Hester owned her sin and didn’t run away from it. She suffered the consequences and dealt with the shame. While Dimmesdale pretended that nothing had happened and played part in the shaming, until right before his death, when he finally publically owned his part in the story. Her courage to face the situation without running away or denying it shows that she was
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