The yearis 1850. You are a woman. An accessory to man, you cannot vote, and you mustabide by every strict law set by a settling religion. Life is good, but lifeisn’t that good because you are ultimately viewed as an object, can’t exercise yourright as a citizen, and you live in a society where everything you do can beconsidered morally wrong or against God’s law. That is what being a woman wasand unfortunately, some of those traditions have been passed down 167 years totoday. Woman still face a similar society that Hester Prynne faced during hertime.
Some would consider her a feminist icon, however, so can The Scarlett Letter itself. The idealsof feminism are apparent throughout the maturation and personal might of the protagonist,Hester Prynne.As theimperfect human beings we are, it is hard to fully grasp the understanding andaccept that we have consequences that follow our actions. However, Prynne setsa perfect example of what to do when you are condemned for your actions. She takesaccountability for her sin in and stands up to the village, showing courage andgrowth. Not being afraid of society, she literally wears her sin proudly,developing her personal strength. Prynne fought through the standards of the PuritanVillage and represented the idea of empowerment and might, something that cannotbe easily developed. It canbe argued that although The ScarlettLetter wears the feminist veil, there are sexist ideas that remain.
Forexample, throughout the whole novel, Prynne is the walking symbol of damnationand unholy actions, thus the scarlett letter branded on her clothes. The factthat Prynne and Pearl endured the same challenge when facing the villagers is adirect support of how thick sexist ideals are in the novel. Even though, shewas strong, Hawthorne, the author, never fails to establish that she is, infact, a sinner. However,the protagonist is what makes this novel a feminist, not the antagonist. HesterPrynne not only attacks roles through growth and maturation, she becomesunbothered by her Puritan surroundings and judges, all while being a loving andprotecting mother. She loved her child and did not care how her love child wasconceived. Prynne clearly demonstrates and captures the idea of the strength womenare born with. The yearis 2018.
No pressure to be married, you can vote, and you can choose to liveyour life the way you want. Time to time, you are oppressed by a society thathurts women, but you remember that if Hester Prynne can endure and overcome theobstacles she did, that you too can overcome boundaries set by society.