Essay on Women : Rising Above Patriarchal Societies

1923 Words Mar 11th, 2016 8 Pages
Independence in Women: Rising above Patriarchal Societies
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment”. In social hierarchy, individuality is difficult to obtain. In a male dominated society, women struggle to attain some form of individuality or authority. In The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne composes a classic novel about a strong female protagonist who overcomes judgment and embodies individuality. Similarly, in the short story “The Story of an Hour”, Kate Chopin creates a passionate female protagonist, who seeks liberation from oppression. In “The Story of An Hour”, a short story by Kate Chopin and The Scarlet Letter, a novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, both authors use symbols, visual imagery and setting to create patriarchal societies that suppress women to prove that despite being disadvantaged women still gain independence while also leaving a lasting legacy.
Hawthorne creates a strict puritan society that highlights the religious oppression that Hester endures but still continues to defy. Hester seeks contentment but in the 1600’s puritans in the New World believed in a strict religious society, and as a result they “compressed whatever mirth and joy they deemed allowable to human infirmity” (Hawthorne 189). The puritans in The Scarlett Letter concentrate on the status of the community, rather than the individual happiness of a person. Puritans expect exceptional conduct and…

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