In early 19th century, women were unable to vote and have minor legal status. A single woman could own her property but married could have no control on her property or her children. Woman could not initiate divorce, couldn’t make wills, sign a contract, or bring suit in court without her husband’s permission. A woman’s sphere was only home which was a refuge from the cruel world outside. Her role was civilized and educates her husband and children. A 1830s MA minster:
“The power of woman is her dependence. A woman who gives up that dependence on man to become a reformer yields the power God has given her for her protection, and her character becomes unnatural!”
Women’s place was in the home. Women role was maintaining and fulfilling her piety and purity. In nineteenth century woman was considered as a new Eve working with God to bring the world out of sin through her suffering, through her pure and passionless love.
As far as the protagonist of the novel “The Scarlet Letter” Hester Prynne is concerned she was a rebellious and opposite of all the women of her era. Instead of a puritan woman she was more likely the women of romantic time. She could not rebel against the punishment, but she refused to expose the name of her love and stand by his side till the end. She demonstrated her selflessness and consideration for others repetitively.
For New Historicism, the text is above all a product of his culture, and moreover, merely one voice amongst many which we can hear speaking from it and showing us how it worked.
Hawthorne depicts a vibrant picture of the puritan culture. When he was about to write the novel The Scarlet Letter Hawthorne was witnessed of a woman scandal in these days. Through the story of his novel he presents a product of his culture. He must have known about the historical precedence of wearing the scarlet letter ‘A’. According to a law in 17th century people who convicted adultery were suppose ...