The meaning of the word feminist in the dictionary is the people who advocates or supports the rights and equalities of women. Hester Prynne is a very strong and honest feminist, because she did not follow the traditional role of women in the eighteenth century.
“Stretching forth the official staff in his left hand, he laid his right upon the shoulder of a young woman, whom he thus drew forward; until, on the threshold of the prison-door, she repelled him, by an action marked with natural dignity and force of character, and stepped into the open air” (Hawthorne 36).
She knows she did wrong but shows that she is not ashamed of what she did front of people. “and yet a haughty smile, and a glance that would not be abashed and looked around at her townspeople and neighbors” (37). She did not get any financial support from anyone. She used her ability to make money and raised Pearl by herself.
“her needle-work was seen on the ruff of the Governor; military men wore it on their scarfs, and the minister on his band; it decked the baby’s little cap; it was shut up, to be mildewed and moulder away, in the coffins of the dead” (57).
Unlike today, women in the 1850’s did not have rights to do many things. Women had limited freedom, but Hester Prynne stood up for her rights and beliefs. Not only she was a feminist character in book, but also the people and their cultures and religion made her that way. In the book, it says that she is beautiful, tall, thin, and dignified woman. She is also said to be good with decorating and making clothes and helps the poor by donating clothes to them. She is not a woman who just sins and be proud of herself. Throughout the story, Hester Prynne tries not to sin and penitent what she did and helps the poor. It is true that Hester Prynne sinned at the first time, but because she helped so much people, the letter “A” which means adultery changed to able for helping others, and became angel among the people.
The Scarlet Letter is a feminist novel, because it shows the strength and independent characteristics of Hester Prynne unlike the women in 1850’s. Hester Prynne is a very good character that shows that this book is a feminist novel from her characteristics and being a feminist character. She raises her child by herself and managing financial difficulties. This is very uncommon life for a woman without a man this period of the time. She is a courageous brave woman who did not need a man to provide or support her family. The word feminism is a word that describes the best of Hester Prynne’s behavior. Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal politic, economic, and social rights for women (Wikipedia).
It is important to know why Hester Prynne is or is not a feminist character but also it is important to see why Nathaniel made Hester Prynne as a feminist character and what role she did throughout the story. The main reason why Nathaniel...