Masters Thesis

Sexual slavery and the hope for the future in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet letter

This thesis incorporates, and attempts to reconcile, both sides of this debate. In doing so, it seeks to accomplish two purposes. First, it explores the possibility that The Scarlet Letter is a novel about sexual slavery for both men and women—on both a societal and personal level—as reflected in Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth. Second, it analyzes Pearl as the only “free” character of Hawthorne’s story, and how she models Hawthorne’s vision for the future between the sexes.

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