The Chauvinist Corner
THE SCARLET LETTER
Hester Prynne was a woman who committed adultery, under circumstances that gave even the Puritans a touch of sympathy, for they condemned her not to death, which was well within their legal power, but rather ruled that she would be forced to wear upon her breast the letter A, made of red cloth and large enough for all to clearly see.
I have heard feminists discuss this book and it is a riot to listen to. They envision Hester as a feminist, proud to wear her badge of courage in the face of the patriarchal society. This is too funny to be believed. It shows how far that a feminist is willing to bend the truth in order to make their own personal world view look rational, which it never will.
Hester walked around Boston with her head held down in shame for seven years. I used to live outside of Boston and have visited the House of Seven Gables, and witnessed the very desk where Nathaniel Hawthorne penned many of his words. However, the Boston of the 17th century was indeed different than it is today, or even than it was in 1850 when the Scarlet Letter was written. Today a quarter of the newborn population is born out of wedlock. We are much wiser today dont you think?
Hester failed to disagree with the verdict handed down upon her. She lived at the edge of town with the little bastard girl, Pearl, she had given birth to. She earned their support by doing embroidery work of the finest quality. But always she was an outcast, and believed herself to be deservedly so. The man who had shamed her was so laden with guilt that he ultimately died from it. Hester, after taking her daughter away to start a new life, returned to live out her own life in Boston, wearing the Scarlet Letter.
Hester did not reject the moral norms of her day, although she was led outside of them briefly by her passion and loneliness. She did seem to detect some hypocrisy from the people of the town but never judged them. She did not in any way wish to be alone and unmarried. It was a punishment to her and she accepted it.
Where was the feminism in this story? It does not exist. Hester lived the life of a woman of her time. She had no yearning to do mens work, or desire to be politically equal with men. She had no aspirations to feminism or any of its goals. Indeed she did all in her power to do womanly good deeds around the town, to the point where people began to think of the Scarlet Letter as representing the word angel rather than adultery.
For some strange reason, feminists today do not have the ability to grasp reality. They look through glasses tinted with fairy dust which makes all things fit into their misguided world view. The Scarlet Letter was not a feminist story nor did it advance the feminist cause one pace. It was a story of a woman, who lived as a woman, and who died as a woman, without a single aspiration of living as a man. Read the book.