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Hawthorne's References To Women. Using "The Scarlet Letter" As An Example, This Essay Explores How Hawthorne Portrays And Presents Women In His Novels

750 words - 3 pages

The quintessence of classic American literature is Nathaniel Hawthorne. The quintessences of Nathaniel Hawthorne's classics are his anti-transcendentalist views. However, there is a subtler view of this author, especially portrayed in The Scarlet Letter, which is also characterized. This is his portrayal of women and femininity. He portrays women as essential, good contributors to society, and a wonderful being.Hawthorne has always presented the few good women of his books as beautiful and tall. Hester Prynne is an example of this. "The young woman was tall, with a figure of perfect elegance on a large scale being beautiful from regularity of feature and richness of complexion (Pg 51)." ...view middle of the document...

Unlike men and other women of the time, she accepted this and did not fear the insults coming from anybody who sees her. Her acceptance was also part of the wonders of women that Hawthorne presented in this novel. Dimmesdale, a man, did not have the courage to accept the adultery he committed. Dimmesdale was Hawthorne's most positively portrayed man in the novel, but Dimmesdale's courage, acceptance, gentility, and independence doesn't come close to Hester's. Once Dimmesdale confessed to his crowd, Dimmesdale died. He did not have the courage to accept his society and what he did, unlike Hester, who pressed on even though there is nothing to hope for anymore.Finally, Hawthorne presents Hester in the novel as a caring human being. Hawthorne has viewed feminine gentility as the best qualities of life, Hester being one of his examples. "She was ladylike, too, after the manner of feminine gentility of those days; characterized by a certain state and dignity (pg 51)." Hester was gentle to all men and women - including the ones that scorned her. She presented her wonderful embroideries as charities to...

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