In what ways at the chapter 24 of The Scarlet Letter should the roles and relationship of men and...


In what ways at the chapter 24 of The Scarlet Letter should the roles and relationship of men and women change according to Hester?

Hester's View of Male-Female Relationships in Chapter 24

Published in 1850, Nathaniel Hawthorne's historical romance The Scarlet Letter tells the tale of an adultress, her offspring, her lover, and her cuckolded husband in the Puritan community.

Answer and Explanation:

In chapter 24 or the conclusion of The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne has become an advisor or mentoring figure to others: "people brought all their sorrows and perplexities, and besought her counsel, as one who had herself gone through a mighty trouble. Women, more especially—in the continually recurring trials of wounded, wasted, wronged, misplaced, or erring and sinful passion—or with the dreary burden of a heart unyielded, because unvalued and unsought came to Hester's cottage, demanding why they were so wretched, and what the remedy! Hester comforted and counselled them, as best she might."

According to Hester, the roles of and relationship between men and women will be more equitable as well as receptive to and reflective of pure love. She told others of "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." Hester believes that true love between men and women will be accepted by society. Although she cannot foretell this definitively herself; she predicts that the "angel and apostle of the coming revelation must be a woman, indeed, but lofty, pure, and beautiful, and wise; moreover, not through dusky grief, but the ethereal medium of joy; and showing how sacred love should make us happy, by the truest test of a life successful to such an end."

Learn more about this topic:

Feminism in The Scarlet Letter


Chapter 3 / Lesson 13

This lesson explores feminist themes in Nathaniel Hawthorne's 1850 classic, 'The Scarlet Letter.' The lesson argues that the novel's protagonists, Hester Prynne and her daughter, Pearl, may rightly be viewed as early feminist heroines.

Related to this Question

Explore our homework questions and answers library