This month I am featuring literary heroines (thank you Irina Michaels of Young Vagabond magazine for the idea!). Whohoo! Let’s get reading!
Nathaniel Hawthorne just seemed to “get” women. He had to have been in love with us to create such a compelling and strong character as Hester Prynne. I sometimes wonder if Hester was a bit inspired by his cousin Susannah Ingersoll. Susannah was a fiercely independent woman. Nathaniel would visit her at her home in Salem, MA- those visits inspired his book The House of the Seven Gables.
Defiant, devoted, conflicted, and complex, the lead female in The Scarlet Letter is one of my literary heroes. I think she is best summed up by John Updike:
“She’s such an arresting and slightly ambiguous figure. She’s a funny mix of a truly liberated, defiantly sexual woman, but in the end a woman who accepts the penance that society imposed on her. And I don’t know, I suppose she’s an epitome of female predicaments. … She is a mythic version of every woman’s attempt to integrate her sexuality with societal demands.”
Go read the Scarlet Letter- hands down one of my favorite books. You can purchase here: http://tinyurl.com/oa45kwj