Compare the Scarlet Letter and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Term Paper

Total Length: 1283 words ( 4 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 4

Page 1 of 4

Scarlet Letter and "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl"

Traditionally, the society presented women as objects of submission to men. Women suffered significantly in the arms of men, as they appeared as objects of desire and mere satisfaction of the will of men, in addition to respecting and bowing, to their every wish. The set in 'The Scarlet Letter' and "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl" have a similar ground concerning the themes about the relationship between men and women. The two literatures are set in the mid 17th and 18th century, where the age of slavery and other forms of maltreatment of people along different lines of alienation were prevalent. The authors of the stories present themes that indicate the actual feeling of the happenings that took place in that age. The use of characters, symbols, and literature devices to the expected effect in presenting these themes makes the stories more relevant towards understanding the motives of the writers.

In "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl," there are several women characters used to represent the role of women in the society according to the writer. The first instance presents the theme of domesticity in showing the relationships between men and women. In this aspect, the writer presents Linda, the slave girl as a person with the desire to grow and build her own family, with children and a home (Jacobs 2). This is similar to the cult of domesticity as presented by Jacob, in which during this era, the space of women in the society reflects relegation into the domestic sphere, and the expectation that they will fulfill their caring duty to their homes and the children. According to the story presented in "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl," the writer presents women in relationships as housewives by nature, expected to fulfill the desires of their men, and not making decisions or voicing their opinions in the family.
For instance, Linda as a slave girl, she is subject to her master, Dr. Flint, she is more of a property as a woman; thus, the doctor expects her to give up to all his demands. He wants her to submit to him that he will control her emotions and all other aspects of her life. However, the contrary as presented by Linda is also true as women in the society struggle to gain their independence in the society and their relationships with men (SparkNotes Editors 2). Linda realizes that women could have happy lives in relationships when she meets the Durham family, in Philadelphia, which contrasts the picture of relationships between men and women.

Similarly, in 'The Scarlet Letter', the author presents a similar representation to that in "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl" over the theme of the relationships between men and women in the society. In this society, women are again a property of the men as presented in the case of Hester. Hester faces challenges as she struggles to establish and determine her own identity in a society where the identity of women is defined by the norms and expectations of the men. Her relation to her husband Chillingworth faces challenges, as it did not stem from love. Thus, the story presents women to be people without the ability to choose whom to love. She cannot define her sexual life, thus, when the society learns of her affair with Dimmesdale, she faces public shaming and becomes an outcast (Nathaniel 2). Thus, the relations between men and women are that….....

Have Any Questions? Our Expert Writers Can Answer!

Need Help Writing Your Essay?