The Scarlet Letter and the Awakening

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The Scarlet Letter is a novel based on the commitment of the sin of adultery. Hester, the main character, slept with another man, thus having a child with him while she was already married. The Awakening is novel that is based on selfhood and feminism. Edna does not love her husband the way that he loves her, so she gains feelings for several other men. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Scarlet Letter, and Kate Chopin’s, The Awakening, both have similar motifs, yet differentiate in many ways, like the actions of Hester and Edna, symbolism in each novel, and how the other characters affect Hester and Edna, which all affect the views on women and femininity.

Hester commits adultery by sleeping with Arthur Dimmesdale thus causing her to have a baby with him that she loves dearly. The problem is that Hester already has a husband, whose name is Chillingworth, but she did not love him as much he loved her. Now, she has to wear a scarlet letter, which is an “A,” on her chest at all times until she finally reveals who the father of her child is. “Here, there was the taint of deepest sin in the most sacred quality of human life, working such effect that the world was only the darker for this woman’s beauty, and the more lost for the infant that she had borne.” (Hawthorne, 54) The sin that Hester created is hidden behind her beauty and her child. Divine Maternity is a great image for Puritans, which Hester was. As for Edna, she also does not love her husband but she does love her two children. Since Edna does not feel the same way for her husband, feelings for other men start to occur; not only one, but several others. “Beneath its pink-lined shelter were his wife, Mrs. Pontellier, and young Robert Lebrun.” (Chopin, 2) Robert was one of the men Edna would flirt with and ended up having feelings for. However, Robert cared about Edna too much to have her commit adultery. Both Hester and Edna had to marry during their time, but they did not love their husbands, so they...
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