How does Hawthorne portray moral terrain through Hester Prynne's unfulfilled sexual charisma?

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Comparing Hawthorne's Hester Prynne to Milton's Eve provokes a great deal of questions, most of which inevitably involve religion and morality. By weighing the two female characters we see that Hester, unlike Eve, becomes the moral compass of her narrative, and is exemplary because of her personal strength and independence.

In many ways, Eve can be seen as the cause of humanity's downfall, and can therefore be blamed for many of the subsequent problems that plague the human race. As Milton writes her, she is also a submissive character, and yet she holds some power over Adam through her sexual energy. As such, though she eventually accepts her state of sin with a sense of dignity, she remains tremendously guilty. Thus, it almost appears as though Milton tries to argue that it is through "sexually irresistible women" that humanity's downfall was achieved.

Hester Prynne, on the other hand, is not submissive. Strong and independent, Hester seems capable of handling any misfortune with stoic grace and fortitude. Though Hawthorne implies that Hester is a sexual woman, she hardly fits the image of the stereotypically shallow sexual love interest. Instead, she is a strong, gentle, self-sufficient, and caring person, a good mother, and generally good role model. Her sexual charisma is just one component of her overall personal strength. As such, Hawthorne rejects the idea that women are the origin of sin, and he also rejects the notion of Eve's sexual power as sinful, choosing instead to present Hester's sexuality as an essential component of her strength as a protagonist

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