The Awakening

Female Sexuality Criminalization and Violations in Literature 12th Grade

Through literature we are often various truths of life and society. In the novels "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, "The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison and "The Awakening" by Kate Chopin; the reader is introduced to female characters from various time periods who have been ostracized by those around them due to their sexual activity. Women have the right to choose who, how, when and how they want to have sex and they have the right to not have sex at all. Yet society ridicules them when they exercise that right. Women throughout history have had their sexual rights violated.

In "The Scarlet Letter", Hester Prynne is a woman living in puritan society. She lives in the new American colony , her husband was suppose to meet her there but he has been missing for seven years. Hester assumed he was dead. Hester, like any human being had sexual desires and needs. She found love in Arthur Dimmesdale, the colony reverend. Naturally, they made love and Hester became pregnant. When the colony discovered that Hester had an "affair" with a man who was not her husband, they labeled her an "Adulteress" even though it was safe to assume that her husband died at sea, which was typically for the dangerously long voyage from England. She...

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