Essay about The Scarlet Letter And Wilderness And The American Mind

1621 Words Oct 5th, 2015 7 Pages
We live in a world that has continuously assigned a predetermined value to specific things, people, and groups, as a way to create social order and establish a feeling of certainty among humans, who thrive on the feelings of superiority, security, and comfort. These are all feelings that social constructs concoct because they rely on putting people into boxes and labelling them as something they should be, which in turn, benefits one’s own mind because we exclude things that are unfamiliar to us and thus, take power away from them. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter and Wilderness and the American Mind by Roderick Frazier Nash, one is able to discern a connection between the role women play in Puritan society as the product of a socially constructed idea of gender, and the consequence of being viewed in a similar lense as “wilderness” and its connotation as something purely uncivilized, when a woman strays away from the constructed idea thrusted upon her. Thus, the power of social constructs and predetermined ideas are extremely powerful because they negate the possibility of seeing the beauty in difference that can exist in the “wilderness” and unfamiliar territory, and create a desire to want to control the “wilderness” as a way to create an alignment between people and our own beliefs. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic American novel, Hester Prynne does not adhere to the conventional thought of womanhood in her Puritan society, as she exemplifies the feared…

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