The Power of Romance Versus Society Hester Prynne. the chief character in Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. is really similar to Edna Pontellier of Kate Chopin’s The Awakening. in that both adult females contradicted the social criterion and followed their Black Marias as opposed to the stiff matrimonial construction of their several times in history. Edna and Hester chose to be with work forces whom they truly cared for. At times when matrimony seemed to be based more on a convenient trueness instead than a echt bond. these adult females preferred to follow their true feelings. They were scoffed at for making so. and those of a presumably higher moral criterion shunned them for following their Black Marias. In the instance of Hester. a public jeer was made of the fornicatress and she was therefore everlastingly condemned to a life of shame. Edna was luckier. as her wickedness was more acceptable in Louisiana Creole society. The sarcasm is that both adult females were really good at bosom. Neither intended any injury against anyone “” non even their ain hubbies who were the victims of their infidelity.
Both Edna and Hester were female parents and both cared deeply for their kids. In malice of this. Edna was sometimes incapable of demoing her true attention and fondness for her kids. The other “mother-women” who surrounded her seemed to set their kids as first precedence. This was non true of Edna. who appeared more concerned with her ain felicity than that of her kids.
Hester and Edna have really romantic personalities in the sense that both of them made determinations based on their fondnesss in the heat of the minute. though they were to the full cognizant of the effects. Hester committed criminal conversation with one of her town’s most well-thought-of magistrates. a wickedness that was punishable by decease in colonial Puritan society. This initial determination was non the lone 1 that Hester Prynne made based on passion. She opted to remain in Salem even after she had been sentenced to populate a life of shame represented by the vermilion missive on her bosom. Hawthorne reveals that she made this determination because. deep inside her bosom. she wanted to be reunited with her true love. Mr. Dimmesdale.
Edna besides made determinations that sometimes seemed irrational. She decided to travel out of her house and off from her apparently picture-perfect life into her ain topographic point “” a topographic point where she could brood off from her hubby. Like Hester. she harbored no hate for her rightful hubby. She besides felt no existent fondness for the adult male. because he was non run intoing her emotional demands. despite the fact that Edna was the “sole object of his being. ” Unlike Hester. Edna had non been forced into the matrimony though. It seems more that she and Mr. Pontellier had merely grown apart over the old ages. It was non until the summer at Grand Isle when she to the full realized this distance.
Some people really applauded Edna for following her bosom and traveling with Robert. Such was non the instance with Hester. who was about universally ridiculed for her offense. Hester was made an illustration of to society. Even immature kids knew that she was a evildoer and an castaway. though they were non rather certain what that meant. In this manner. hatred was bred even in heads excessively immature to understand it. Hawthorne describes this. “Man has marked this woman’s wickedness by a vermilion missive. which had such potent and black efficaciousness that no human understanding could make her. God. as a direct effect of the wickedness which adult male therefore punished. had given her a lovely kid. ” Ms. Prynne and Mrs. Pontellier both went against the cloth of their conservative society.
This was. of class. more utmost in the instance of Hester. Though Edna was looked down upon by some for bewraying her matronly and bridal duties. many wished Hester dead. and she was ousted from her topographic point as a take parting member of society. Hester’s illicit girl. Pearl. besides suffered the effects of her mother’s wickedness. Because she did non experience like anyone cared about her besides her female parent. Pearl grew to detest and mistrust world in general. Edna’s kids ne’er had to endure this deficiency of belonging. They got all the attending they needed from their assorted caretakers and relations.
Some of the differences between the life styles of the two adult females can be reduced merely to clip period and societal stature. Hester lived in a clip when any luxury was regarded as frivolous. Any self-indulgence or even outward show of felicity was thought to be the work of the Devil. Because of this strong spiritual influence on society. Hester was thought to be evil because she gave in to her ain demands and desires. Edna lived in a comparably broad clip and topographic point. She had really excessive ownerships and enjoyment of free clip was seen as something to be cherished. The Creole French ( of whom Edna was non one ) are known for their floridness and leisurely nature. The Puritans of early Salem lived their lives in a changeless conflict with the Devil. wickedness. lecherousness. and diversion. In this closely knit society. Hester was seen as the incarnation of the immorality in all of these things. The sarcasm is that Hester considered herself to be an active practician of the Puritan religion and life style. Numerous times in The Scarlet Letter. Hester is heard stating her Pearl about her celestial male parent.
Both Edna and Hester are castawaies of their society. Edna is an all-American miss from Kentucky. She is unaccustomed to the straightforward Creole life style that she confronts in Louisiana. Because of this. it is easy for her to misinterpret some of the things that people say and do in Louisiana. Hester is an castaway to a much greater grade than Edna because she is forced to adhere to a much stricter system of authorities and faith than Edna.
Hester Prynne and Edna Pontellier are two adult females of passionate and romantic motivations who refused to conform to the criterions of their societies. Despite their stable and comfy lives with their hubbies. these adult females fell in love with other work forces. This is non so hideous as the fact that they followed their urges and take to go forth their hubbies for these work forces.