How is Anne Hutchinson approached in The Scarlet Letter 

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Anne Hutchinson was a radical Puritan leader in the 1600's whose resemblance to the character of Hester Prynne was based on the strength of her beliefs and the resilience of her personality, which did not cow down at the severities imposed by the state of things and the politics of the settlement.

She was the pioneer of antinomians, preaching to her own interpretation of the Bible under the perspective of females.

Because of her independent and rebellious ways, she was condemned to excommunication from the church and condemn her for imprisonment.

In The Scarlet Letter  Nathaniel Hawthorne makes a reference to Anne Hutchinson at the beginning of the story when he talks about the inexplicable red rose that seems to have resisted the passage of time and history right next to Hester's jail cell.

The text offers,

“But whether it had merely survived out of the stern old wilderness, so long after the dall of the gigantic pines and oaks that originally overshadowed it, — or whether, as there is fair authority for believing, it had sprung up under the footsteps of the sainted Anne Hutchinson, as she entered the prison door, — we shall not take upon us to determine.”

By calling her "sainted" Hawthorne demonstrate his admiration for the character of Anne Hutchinson, and he even goes beyond in 1830 when he wrote the story "Mrs. Hutchinson" who is a parallel of Hester Prynne.

Read the study guide:
The Scarlet Letter

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