ADVANTAGES

Nevertheless, the question of whether The Scarlet Letter should be viewed as a masculine support to feminist ideas has no clear answer. On one hand, the novel criticizes the Puritan offensive relations towards women, including the witchcraft against quasi-powerful feminine characters. However, Hawthorne, who argued in 1855 that “America is now wholly given over to a d—–d mob of scribbling? women” (Barlowe, 2000, p.32), arguably demands a new role for American women not as a supporter of the feminist argument of his times, but as a natural part of his general social criticism (Person, 2007). Either way, Hawthorne seals The Scarlet Letter with a short manifesto, in which Hester comforts the women who come to her cottage by expressing “her firm belief, that, at some brighter period, when the world should have grown ripe for it, in Heaven’s own time, a new truth would be revealed, in order to establish the whole relation between man and woman on a surer ground of mutual happiness” (1850, p. 321).

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