Throughout the entirety of The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prone is ostracizes and forced to live on the outskirts of society, both by the geographical position of her cottage and the way the community treats her as a person. In spite of this ill treatment, Hester never fully lets it beat her. Even though she wears the scarlet letter on her chest, she does not let the letter define her. Hester Is a Incredibly strong character living In a time when women were seen as second class citizens.
She intimidates the other women living around her and even some of the men in the novel. She intimidates them through her strength and perseverance. At the onset of the novel, the Puritan magistrate does everything he can to make Hester become something other, and for a while, he succeeds. However, when Hester returns to the town many years later, she Is seen as a beacon of feminine strength, hope, and wisdom Hester was never defined by the labels society put on her. Both In a literal and figurative sense, she persevered being seen as a demon and as something monumentally other.
Not only did she persevere, she became accepted in the community and praised for some of her skills. Through all of her punishment and attempts to sully her, Hester attitude never changed, “Hester nature showed itself warm and rich; a well-spring of human tenderness, unfailing to every real demand, and Inexhaustible by the largest” (Hawthorne). Because of this tenderness and openness, the women of Salem see Hester as a strong...
woman Normally these qualities don’t indicate strength, but the women have seen what Hester went through ND admire her for her dedication and perseverance.
Her cottage is an important symbol to consider.
She lived on the outskirts of society. This was put in place by the magistrate and was intended to break her down, but it did exactly the opposite. She was able to create her own sphere of life outside of the Puritan rigor that enveloped Salem. This cottage became a new sphere for Pearl and Hester. There were no rules where she lived: she was In control of her biological life while she was In the cottage, “The world’s law was no law for her mind” (Hawthorne).
Other women in the town see this.
Their lives are controlled by their chauvinistic husbands and they never get to decide anything, even when it comes to their own bodies. Hester cottage serves as a beacon of hope for women who feel the society they live in is too overbearing. The cottage without Hester Is meaningless, but when the cottage Is considered as a symbol of her feminism, then It Is much easier to see why the other women of Salem consider her as a source of inspiration and hope.
Hester shows women that Puritan en cannot tell them how to live their lives. They can set rules, but rules can be subverted.
The scarlet letter that the magistrates tried to brand her with failed miserably, which Hawthorne notes, “The scarlet letter has not done its office” (Hawthorne). The attempt t
label Hester by society failed. The attempt to label her home as an outcast failed. They put her on the periphery of town to try to Puritan society.
Hester Prone defies the laws of a society run by men. She subverts their rules and makes her own.
At a time when her fellow women were being oppressed by their husbands, Hester serves as a role model and beacon of hope for other women in Salem. Her cottage is an extension of her person. The cottage lies on the outskirts of society, yet it is still fundamentally good and serves as a stronghold for budding feminism, even though the women in The Scarlet Letter don’t yet realize t.
Hester, and the cottage, are something that the men in Salem cannot control, and this gives a unique and important model of power over men at a time when women had no power.
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