The Scarlet Letter
Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter is a book of love, lust, passion, and punishment. The main character Hester Prynne is right in the middle of all of these things, along with being in the middle of a rocky relationship with her husband. In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne shows the reader the consequences of being part of an unfair relationship. It is the society's comfort zone, having males dominate. Males have always been thought to be stronger, braver, and more able. They should dominate society, and the women should follow. But in The Scarlet Letter, Hester goes against the patriarchal society, and does what she wants. For that she is punished. Hester Prynne is the main character of the book, and her husband is Chillingsworth, an old, broken down man. In the book, Hester commits adultery with Dimmsdale, the town's minister. By giving the reader insight to Hester and Chillingsworth's relationship, the reader can see why Hester may have committed the horrible sin of adultery. Hester and Chillingsworth had a bad relationship. Hester was young and beautiful, Chillingsworth was old and stale. A young woman wants true love. She wants someone she can love and someone who will love her back. Chillingsworth wasn't able to offer her those things. Together they did not mix well. According to psychologists, there are two different people in an unequal or unfair relationship. There is the overbenefitted and the underbenefitted. In The Scarlet Letter, Hester is the underbenefitted and Chillingsworth is the overbenefitted. Hester, unfortunately, was not getting the benefit of the relationship. Hester was young, and young women want love, someone handsome that they can fall in love with. They want someone who will love them for who they are, not based on social standing, or treat them with respect, not as inadequate objects. According to studies done by Elaine Hatfield and colleagues, in unequal relationships, the...
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