From the beginning of his writing career, Nathaniel Hawthorne has made several references to Anne Hutchinson. In fact, he even wrote a sketch called “Mrs. Hutchinson”. Because of Hawthorne’s apparent interest in Mrs. Hutchinson, it is entirely possible that he would use her as a template for one of the characters in his many books. Hawthorne’s character, Hester Prynne, is similar in many ways to Anne Hutchinson.
One likeness between the two women is they were both respected members of society. As Michael J. Colacurcio says, “both these remarkable and troublesome women have careers as nurses and counselors to other women” (213). Anne Hutchinson started career as a respected member of society. She came to America with her husband, and they instantly became prominent members of society. Anne Hutchinson’s place in society is stated in this quote, “Hutchinson persuaded her husband to remove their family to Boston, Massachusetts, in September 1634, where their gentry status and piety assured them a prominent position in the Puritan colony”(“Anne Hutchinson.(religious leader)” 2). On the other hand, Hester did not become a respectable member in society until she was charged with adultery. People’s thoughts of her are shown here, “Such helpfulness was found in her,--so much power to sympathize,--that many people to interpret the Scarlet A by its original signification. They said it meant Able; so strong was Hester Prynne, with a woman’s strength”(Hawthorne 111). Hester’s alienation from society made her sensitive to the problems of other people. This helped her to help them, because she understood their problems. Instead of letting circumstances tear her down, she used them to grow stronger and become one of the most respected members of society. Hawthorne is essentially trying to show that good people occasionally make mistakes.
Additionally, women were...
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