Feminism At Its Earliest in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter essays & term papers     

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Feminism At Its Earliest in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Free Essay, Term Paper and Book Report

Do you believe in women's rights? In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, feminism arises as a controversial view. A modern definition of a feminist would describe a person who believes in women's right and independence as a person. But written in 1850, this novel reveals proto-feminist thoughts, an oddity for its time. Mainly through Hester, Hawthorne reveals his support of feminism. In Hawthorne's time, a man could not be what we now call a feminist. And, although most readers may not recognize Hester as a feminist icon, Hawthorne does portray her as such. He directly and indirectly praises Hester's behavior and holds her up as a model of inspiration. Hawthorne is not always straightforward when he portrays Hester as a strong woman. Many readers mistakenly interpret Hester as weak, because the town sees her as such, rather than strong-willed. By not only simply wearing the letter, as Hester could rip it off and discard it if she wishes, Hester "[wears] the scarlet letter so openly on [her] bosom" (159) and chooses to embrace it with "elaborate embroidery and ......

Word Count: 754
Page Count: 3  (250 words a page / double spaced)

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