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Word Count: 532
The Scarrlet Letter As citizens of the United States and members of the most open society in the world it is difficult for us to picture a world where the phrases womans rights equal opportunity and religious freedom have little meaning When the surface of American history is scratched not necessarily deeply a past of limited rights for women is soon revealed The challenge to any author comes in painting a picture of this colonial past to both current readers and readers to come Nathaniel Hawthorne In his book The Scarlet Letter successfully meets this task through the character of Hester Prynn Hawthorne describes a woman with independence ahead of her time and a social order unprepared to accept her Hesters independence was promptly demonstrated at the novels beginning The court has ruled as punishment for her adultery she must wear an A upon her chest that to the colonist served as a reminder of the punishment they would suffer if their sins were to be discovered and to Hester a reminder of sin Hester stands alone outside the court house as the close minded colonial eyes stare at her and the baby in her arms Many women during this era of American history would look for a way to run Hester shows little sign of uneasiness with exception to her firm hold on the infant At the conclusion of this scene the reader knows that this is a strong woman trying to maintain dignity in a land were a womans independence ranked right above blasphemy on the hierarchy of values Throughout the novel Hester demonstrates her independence of living Her husband never comes forward and her lover does the same With
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