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The Scarlet Letter (1995) - Movie Review Example

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Understanding the historical context of the movie requires one to have prior insight on the author’s life, setting and themes of the novel from which the screenplay was adopted.
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel ‘Scarlet Letter’; set in mid-seventeenth century in a village located in Boston, Massachusetts is a fictional account of the Puritan society. …
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The Scarlet Letter (1995)
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"The Scarlet Letter (1995)"

Download file to see previous pages In it, Hawthorne describes the Puritan society and the cultural aspects defining it. In addition, he expounds on the role cultural expectations play in an individual’s life by focusing on the character Hester Prynne. Hester was a young married woman who had an affair with a local Rev. Dimmesdale when she feared her husband dead, which resulted in the birth of a child, Pearl. On her re-entry into society with her child in her arms, other society members met her with looks of disapproval. Her refusal to name her adulterous partner resulted in her future humiliation. The novel revolves around Hester’s life and her path to self-discovery after condemnation and ex-communication from the society. She strived to exhale, provide a life for her daughter and reclaim her dignity (Hawthorne 40).
The Puritan society, a sect that emerged from the Protestant Christians advocated for its members to live a pure life free from sin. They shunned secular practices in their society; for example, adultery, stealing among other secular practices. However, they did not stress on some practices highly regarded by Protestant Christians; for example, mandatory attendance of church regularly. The Puritan culture defines people’s identity setting expectations for them. These expectations provide guidance on how people handle the prevailing societal issues. Hawthorne defines the Puritan society as a patriarchal society. Meaning, this society valued men more than it valued women. The society’s view of women was, therefore, discriminatory in nature especially because it ascribed two basic roles to them. They include; role of a mother and role of a wife. When playing the role of a mother, women cared for their children, nurturing them while socializing them to the Puritan culture. Moreover, when playing the role of a wife, the society expected women to remain submissive and faithful to their husbands. Societal values also expected them to procreate; providing heirs for their husbands. These heirs ensured the continuation of their family legacy. These two roles defined the society’s expectations of women and guided their behavior. Women were to remain silent unless the society needed them to speak. The irony in this is baffling (Hawthorne 70). Just like modern, contemporary, real societies, societal expectation ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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