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Gender Roles in The Scarlet Letter Essay

Assignment id 1016636
Discipline Other
Assignment type Essay
Words 2051
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Nathaniel Hawthorne's 'The Scarlet Letter' was considered by many as the controversial novel of its time, given its themes of sin, pride and vengeance. It was also put in a time when very few were considering the equality of of women and men, but Hawthorne was able to bring gender-based inequality to light through the novel's male-dominated Puritan setting and by defining the sex roles of personalities, such as Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale. Because of this, it's my view that the spiritual setting of this novel in the Puritan society allowed further emphasis of the profound differences between the character's gender roles, thereby creating deeper comparison and revealing the defects of this Puritan's preconceived notions of patriarchal societal standards. 'The Scarlet Letter' exemplifies that the lives of Hester Prynne, her daughter Pearl, neighborhood preacher Arthur Dimmesdale and Hester's husband (whom uses the alias of Roger Chillingworth so as to disguise his true identity), and how they're changed after Hester committed an adulterous act with Dimmesdale, thus conceiving Pearl. This mother and child are subsequently ostracized by society, and Hester is sentenced to jail, forced to wear a scarlet "A" on her chest as a symbol of her sin. The publication has been narrate the four characters' narrative for the following few years, until Hester passes away and is buried close to Chillingworth (that had died before on), either sharing a letter "A" in their gravestones. Religion and law were considered almost interchangeable in Puritan society, according to "the exact same solemnity of demeanour" among the audiences, "as befitted a people among whom religion and law were almost identical" when Hester stepped from her prison cell. Even th...

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