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Woman Struggle in The Scarlet Letter Movie

Updated October 13, 2020
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Woman Struggle in The Scarlet Letter Movie essay

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Abstract

This paper focused on analyzing the woman struggle of her life to face the social reality that reflected in The Scarlet Letter movie. This movie reflects Hester’s struggle among the men’s domination culture. Analyzing the problem in the movie uses a Radical Feminism perspective. The problems that Hester faces can be interpreted as the men domination problem of society. How she can survive toward the problem. The methodology uses descriptive qualitative. There are two types of data in this paper, Primary and Secondary data. The Primary data takes from the movie and its scripts. The Secondary data takes from the article or journal that related to the movie. The data analysis takes the interpretation of the movie. The result shows that Hester Prynne can struggle from that social system of society. She can be an independent woman as her principal and try to face the problems.

Introduction

The gender equality movement is a social movement that appears in society. Men and women are equal in any aspect of live. Gender itself had formed because of the social construction among genders. The gender equality movement appeared while there were descriptions toward a certain gender. These descriptions would develop for many reasons. There are Labeling, subordinating, marginalization, and double burden. Struggling to build equality brings a long period to reach them. One of the social movements in the whole western civilization that built gender issues is Feminism.

Feminism is an ideology to empower women as the subject of their live. It started at 18 century. Feminism also developed in each period. The social scientist classified this movement into three waves and they had its schools for each wave. Liberal, radical and Marxist feminists include the first-wave feminists. Existential and gyno-centrism appear in the second wave. The third wave of feminist, it has postmodernism, multiculturalism, globalism, and eco-feminism.

The radical feminism rose at 19 century. They fought for men’s domination (patriarchy) because of their biological condition established them to gain superiority or higher position. Others problems appeared in these issues were the woman body, reproduction right, sexuality, sexism and dichotomous between private and public. Due to these matters, the radical feminism had the main purpose to destroy the patriarchy as a strong system.

The Women National Commission of Indonesia had recorded that the amount of sexual women violence still had great quantity in 2017. It recorded 5649 cases of sexual violence. The woman became the victim of these cases. Several reasons that appeared such as men superiority, women subordinating, woman discrimination and more complicated problems. Women should be under pressure then the violence happened. It will be found at the surrounding of life such as in the house that they had to be safe, in the community, working places probably happen the violence toward women.

It also appears in The Scarlet Letter movie. This movie was free adapted from the same title written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It was directed and produced by Rolland Joffe. This movie imagined the Massachusetts Bay colony In Boston, America. It showed us the woman namely Hester Prynne from England who lived at the Puritanism which had strong church dogma. This woman had their principal for worship. The priest did the sermon that ground in the bible. Its sermon was doctrinal, and the Puritanism delivered the sermon in order to the sinners repent. The woman who had married Roger Prynne fell in love with Arthur Dimmesdale until pregnant.

The focus of this paper is on the woman struggle with radical feminism approach reflected by Hester Prynne. Based on the focus above the questions can be arranged as follows; 1. What problems are faced by Hester Prynne? 2. How does Hester Prynne handle the problem?

Looking at the problems above the objective of the study is to examine the problems by her and how she can hold out from the problem. The significance of the study is theoretically to accumulate the research on The Scarlet Letter movie. Practically this study can give knowledge more about gender equality and woman struggle. Thus, gender equality can be established fairly in any aspect of life.

Methodology

The research method of the study can be explained as follows. Type the study is qualitative research with a descriptive approach. The object of the study is woman struggle reflected in The Scarlet Letter movie. Types of data consist of primary and secondary data. The primary data derived from the text of the movie. The secondary data covers some data that support the analysis. it can be taken from any journal or article of related to the study. Types of data analysis are by watching the movie and makes the interpretation.

Result

3.1.1 Hester Prynne came to local Puritanism in Massachusetts bay and went to the market to buy a slave

Seller : “Shouldn’t your husband or father be doing business with me ?”
Hester : “Is my money no good to you, Sir ?”
Seller : “Your money’s as fine as wine in the sunshine, Mistress”
“If you buy them at a just price, I’ll throw in the girl in red”
3.1.2 She bought a woman slave

Hester : “She is a slave! But she don’t speak, if that be a problem. Born that way.
Name your just price”

Those two scenes above can be represented that Hester prefers to choose the girl one than men. She will save the girl from the slave seller which always the violence to the slaves.
3.1.3 Hester Prynne was supposed pregnant

Church Sender : By order the Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, you are ordered to appear before the magistrates, at eight tomorrow morn! Don’t be tardy!
Hester Prynne receipted the instruction letter to go to the judgment and read it
“Mistress Prynne, these gentlemen have laid a charge of heresy against you. Tell me how it is the laws of men are the imagination of mortals? It is the meetings that you call heresy. Lascivious talk of fornication with savages. Fallen women who tell lies about good citizens”
3.1.4 The Priest gave the judgment to Hester Prynne

Priest 1 : “This is what comes when there is no qualified man present”

3.1.5 Priest 2 gave the argument

Priest 2 : “To guide these women in their untutored chattering.“

3.1.6 Hester Prynne showed her arguments about woman

Hester : “If the discourse of women is untutored chattering”
3.1.7 Hester expressed his perspective

Hester : “Why does the Bible teach that women shall be the teachers of women ?“
For the two scenes above can be interpreted that the church dogma is strong with the men domination. Here, Hester has her own perspective about the existence of women in Bible.
3.1.8 The Priest showed the A symbol to the people. A was meant as Adultery

Priest : “This symbol of your sinful fornication, heed not this final warning and you will be pariah, cut off, shunned and reviled by every man, woman and child in this town!.”

3.1.9 The Hester Prynne was never shy to use this

Hester :” What do you wait ? Put it on! it is not a badge of my shame, but your own!
Based on the scenes above that Hester is independence woman.”
She cannot influence by others, although many people push her to admit who is the father of the daughter. She does it because she want Dimmesdale can be safe.
3.1.10 Hester Prynne brought her baby and used the A symbol on her dress. Wherever she went a place a drum boy followed her then people underestimated him.

Hester followed by a drum boy wherever she goes. He also rings the drum behind Hester and her daughter

Discussion

This movie was adapted from Nathaniel Hawthorne novel that wrote in 1850. The movie was released in 1995. The story included in the romance movie. It told the Puritanism Massachusetts society in the 17th century. The people live with the church dogma among the doctrinal priest and precept.

Beginning of the story, Hester Prynne is known as the brave woman who is always the opposite person with her act and arguments. She tries to against the social system in surrounding her although with silence. The social reality brings Hester Prynne to make some struggle in her live.

She bought an abnormal woman slave in the local market. All of the slaves that promote by the seller are mostly men, except Mituba who is bought by Hester Prynne. By choosing the woman one, it can be represented that Hester Prynne saves the woman from the ill-treatment of the seller.

Getting acquainted with Arthur Dimmesdale, she starts to love him. A priest of the local church wins the Hester Prynne heart. It is the same as Dimmesdale also, he starts to love Hester Prynne. Suddenly there is news that Roger Prynne, Hester’s husband died from the war. Thus, they love each other until Hester Prynne gets pregnant with him. The priests know these signs by knowing her feeling queasy in every morning. This report was reported by one woman. This indication brings Hester Prynne into the church for the judgment.

Hester Prynne always rises up her arguments because the priests always try to corner her with their arguments. The priest states that the woman’s fault because there is no man beside her to control her acts. Hester Prynne’s statement reflects that women can be independent by showing one of the bible precepts. The bible learns the woman will be the woman teacher.

Hester Prynne passes for judgment in twice, the surprising fact rises up that her husband is still alive. Hester Prynne brings into open judgment and seen by people. She does not admit who is her daughter’s father Hester Prynne is declared as adultery and makes her to use “A” letter with scarlet color in her dress. This letter is a badge that must be used wherever and whenever she goes. By this decision, Hester Prynne does not feel disheartened by her silence. She thinks that this is not a ashamed act.

By giving this badge, Hester Prynne becomes a pariah in the city. People underestimate her. The boy with the drum always follows her wherever she goes and rings the drum. Although people do that to Hester, she keeps silent without resistance.

Conclusion

Based on the discussion above can be concluded that the church dogma in that century is still strong with the men domination. Patriarchy culture rooted in society. The social system brings Hester Prynne to against with the argument and act as she can. Although, the church power with men domination is stronger than her. Radical feminism shows one the problematic in social reality relations and power between men and women also dichotomous between private and public. It is showed clearly in this movie. It is hard for Hester Prynne to against because she is alone, but with her strength, it can be appreciated to against the men domination around her.

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Scarlet_Letter_(1995_film) accessed at 2nd April 2019

http://www.sarapanpagi.org/siapakah-kaum-puritan-itu-vt1777.html accessed at 2nd April 2019

https://www.slideshare.net/bintarijoesman/feminisme-dan-gerakan-kesetaraan-gender-edit accessed at 2nd April 2019

https://www.cnnindonesia.com/gaya-hidup/20181126110630-284-349231/menguak-data-jumlah-kekerasan-perempuan-tahun-ke-tahun accessed 3rd April 2019

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