在传统道德家眼里, 夏娃是引诱亚当堕落的祸根, 不仅在于她没能经受住撒旦的诱惑, 更在于她违背了绝对权威的上帝; 海丝特(Hester)也跟夏娃一样, 是灾难的祸根, 后来所发生的悲剧皆因她对爱情的一时冲动而起, 所以无论是因女性的某种弱点而使她不能抵御爱情的诱惑, 还是因为她特有的傲慢使她违背了当时的教规和法律, 她都是有罪的。按照传统的父权制文学批评家patriarchy literary critic的说法, 海丝特无疑是一个地道的“妖妇(brazen bussy)”。但是在女性主义文学批评家feminist literary critic看来, 夏娃不盲从盲信绝对权威的上帝, 而是靠亲身体验去明辨是非,给后代带来了人类自身文明的智慧和真理;
海丝特的“罪孽”是由于她对纯真爱情的追求违反了宗教戒律, 是由于她大胆的个性要求与人为的社会道德发生了冲撞, 是由于她打碎了神性精神的枷锁, 让人性进行了一次自由的翱翔。然而, 这一切是殖民时期“清教主义Puritanism”的严酷统治绝对不允许的。海丝特所犯的“罪孽”是与自古以来父权制社会the men-dominated society中所有女性饱受的痛苦、失落和无助紧密相关的。
因为圣经和法令书上都是这样规定的, 淫妇是引诱男人道德败坏的祸根, 是致男人于死地的恶魔, 对淫妇最常用的手段是性侮辱、肉体残杀和名誉损害。可见, 传统的政教合一的社会制度对人类的毒害之深, 是连女性本身都无法意识到的。
一个人,特别是男人的外在符号特征在某种意义上其实是自我内心的负担, 也就是说, 传统的父权制不光给女人同时也给男人套上了沉重的枷锁。.男人从小就“本能、直觉”地按照社会赋予男性的特征去生活。社会让男人去闯、去拼、去进取、去得胜; 社会让男人有权对成功感到喜悦、骄傲和自豪。男人只有做到这些, 才能体验到自己的价值。传统性别角色暗示: 爱情和事业（社会地位）之间存在着不可调和的矛盾冲突。
这母女二人同处在为人类社会所隔绝的一个圈子里, 自打出生起, 珠儿pearl就没有受到男权中心对她带来的影响。因此, 她和海丝特之间是一种新型的母女认同关系, 而绝对没有精神分析学所主张的“恋父”情结。女性是被历史遗忘了的一个性别。女人, 不称祖先; 女子, 不计世系; 女儿, 不为后代, 没有继承权。几千年来,“重男轻女”的思想在人类自身的生产中始终占据主导地位。时至今日, 社会还在讨论“女儿能不能传宗接代”的问题。霍桑Hawthorn设计海丝特生育女孩而不是男孩, 并安排珠儿继承了齐灵窝斯Chillingworth的遗产, 一方面是让齐灵窝斯最终回复了人性, 另一方面更是对父权社会“重男轻女”思想的揭露和挑战。
如果说圣母的儿子是上帝派到人间来的救世主的话, 那么海丝特的女儿就是霍桑内心深处希望拯救深受神权、父权和夫权压迫的女性的天使。他这样写道: “（不用翻）这个女人的美反而使世界显得更阴暗, 她所生的孩子使世界经受了更大的损失。”显然,这里的世界指的是男权世界。反过来理解就是, 海丝特的美给女性世界带来了光明, 而珠儿是她带给女性世界的瑰宝。美国评论家尼娜•贝姆教授曾说过“珠儿具有清教徒教义所极力否定的一切自然的品质”, 而追求自然正是女性主义者所崇尚的。
From the perspective of rooted ethics, Eve is the reason for Adam's fall. Not only because of her failure to resist Satan, but she has gone against the ultimate authority of God; Hester, with no exception, is also seen as the source of sufferings, whose impulsive action upon love is held responsible for the ensuing tragedies. Consequently, women are generally regarded guilty for not being able to keep from the temptation of love, whether for some inherent weakness or the unique pride over law and doctrine at that time. By orthodox patriarchy literary critics, Hester is undoubtedly a typical brazen bussy. Nevertheless, what feminist literary critics have to say about Eve is just opposite the spectrum that she endows us offspring with wisdom and truth by personal experience and belief in herself, rather than following the Omnipotence.
It's her unstoppable pursuit for love breaking the religious traditions and doctrines that's Hester's sin. It's the boldness of her way that comes in conflict with the ethics, and it's her triumph over the spiritual enthralling Deity that enables the man to fly in liberty. In the end, however, Puritanism of the colonization age shatters every slight hint of the dream. What Hester has convicted corresponds to the pains, sufferings and helplessness of all women in the men-dominated society.
According to the Bible and many codex, women are responsible for men's fall, who, are the evil that lure men to the hell. Sexual abusement, body torturement and defamation are the primary punishments for women. Therefore, even women themselves are unable to realize how severe the idea of politics and religion as one has corrupted the humanity.
Men-dominated society imprisons men no less than it does with women in that, a person, especially a man is heavily burdened by the ourward symbol he bears. Instinctly, men live a designed life from the very youth; it's the society who pushes men to adventure, to fight and to conquer; it's the society who gives men the motivation to be joyful and proud of their achievement. Only when they reach this goal do they value themselves. The traditional sex discrimination implies that love and enterprising (social status) have little in common and often result in unsolvable contraditions.
Mother and daughter are both isolated from the humanity. Pearl bears no burden a men-dominated society imposes ever since she was born, so they each developed a rather new perspective on the other, without even the most petite sign of Electra complex in Psychoanalysis. Females are all absent in history; no ancestors, no pedigrees, no offsprings and no inheritance rights. For thousands of years, Patriarchy stands consolidatedly in the development of humanity. Even now, whether women are eligible for carrying on the kindred is debatable. What Hawthorn did to make a girl out of Hester rather than a boy and for Pearl to inherit Chillingworth, had successfully restored the humanity in Chillingworth and at the same time challenged the Patriarchy in men-dominated society.
With Maria's son being the One sent by God, the daughter of Hester is what Hawthorn hopes to be the angel who saves the women from Deity and Patriarchy. This is what she conceived: "这个女人的美反而使世界显得更阴暗, 她所生的孩子使世界经受了更大的损失" Apparently, it's the world of men that she was talking about. Take it other way around, Hester bestows light to the world of women with her beauty, and Pearl is it. Professor Nina Bem, an American critic put it as "Pearl has all the natural qualities Puritanism can't live with", and the desire for nature is just what feminism seeks at heart.
第一类女性和第二类女性 在传统文化当中, 女性形象总是围绕着两个对立面: 第一类是受歧视的女性。男人与女人, 从被上帝造出的那天起, 就被置于不平等的地位,《圣经》中不公平的造人神话开创了“男尊女卑”的“天经地义”。长久以来, 男人的价值总是高于女人, 到处被赋予积极的意义, 他们总是优秀的和受赞美的对象; 而女性则处处劣于男性, 所起的都是消极作用, 她们不但魅力被否定, 而且总是跟恶毒与放荡联系在一起。在《创世纪》的神话传说中就贯穿着这种神秘邪恶的女性形象, 她们如“妖女”般引诱男人走进撒旦设下的陷阱, 给男人们带来痛苦和死亡, 造成了男性世界的巨大混乱。夏娃违背上帝旨意先尝了伊甸园里的智慧果, 第一个犯罪, 然后又把这果实给她丈夫吃, 致使亚当也犯了罪。于是, 女人便成了引诱男人堕落的祸根, 千百年来受到诅咒和歧视。这种观点控制了人类历史发展的大半部分, 使传统文化和文学史都充斥着对女性的敌意, 女性主义文学批评家把这种现象称之为“男性文学厌女症”（misogny）。
第二类是受颂扬的女性。从中世纪中叶起, 人们不再无休止地攻击女性; 相反, 对她们的“美德”和“功绩”极力吹捧。女性相夫教子的天职和为家庭自我牺牲的精神越来越多地受到赞美。文艺复兴时期的人文主义与传统的视女性为恶魔的观念决裂, 并且给女性美赋予了新的意义, 女性如同阳光一般照亮和温暖了男性阴暗冰冷的精神世界, 提高了他们的地位和威望;她们如“天使”般拯救男人的灵魂, 引领他们飞升至不朽的天堂。圣母玛利亚就是被崇拜和歌颂的典型。《新约》中一段神奇灵验的怀孕生子故事使她走进了庄严神圣的教堂, 出现在诗人、艺术家的笔下, 成为慈善、圣洁和美的化身。在文艺复兴时期的欧洲,“第二性”成为“美丽的性别”, 成为不计其数颂歌的完美主题。但从一定意义上讲, 这种女性地位的提高只是文学现象而不是社会现象, 女性这种过分理想化的形象并没有摧毁性别等级存在的现实, 相反, 却成为男人把女人局限于家庭生活小圈子的一个绝好借口。权利和理性仍是男性的特权, 而属于女性的只有美丽的身体和脆弱的心灵。在政治生活中, 女性仍毫无地位可言, 在经济上也没有自主权。以上无论哪一类女性都是按照男人的意愿、为确保男人的社会地位而设计出来的。这两类女性始终是依附男性, 受他们掌握和控制, 没有任何自主和独立的人格。然而, 霍桑却在《红字》中为我们创造了一个既不同于第一类又不同于第二类的崭新的女性形象——海丝特•白兰。
第三类女性 在男人们眼里, 海丝特属于第一类女性即受歧视的女性的范畴, 因为她不屈从于男人们的摆布, 她独立地生活, 并设想有一天女人能够得到与男人平等的地位, 而这些恰恰是男性所惧怕的。但在另一方面, 她温柔的母爱、善良、忍耐、宽容与勤劳等一系列美德不恰恰又是男人们赋予第二类女性——受颂扬的女性的特征吗?“天使”与“妖女”、“圣母”与“夏娃”的对立已经开始让位于这种特别的、充满活力和独立人格的女性之美。从海丝特身上, 我们得到一个重要的启示: 一个完整的女性似乎该是第一类女性和第二类女性的完美结合——既有独立的人格和思想, 又不乏女性特有的天性和气质。法国的吉尔•里波韦兹基在其《第三类女性——女性地位的不变性与可变性》一书中指出,20 世纪的妇女解放运动比历史上任何一场变革都来势凶猛, 它对人类社会的发展所带来的影响是极其深刻的。近半个世纪里女性地位的变化超过了过去的几千年。无论是第一类女性还是第二类女性, 归根结底都是依附于男人, 按男人的意愿行事, 没有任何自主, 而女性对男性的这种依赖不能再适应社会的民主和历史前进的脚步, 家庭妇女已不再是人们心目中理想的女性形象, 女性已在学习工作上获得与男性均等的机会, 并已拥有普遍选举权、离婚权、性自由、生育权等等。这就形成了第三类女性——不受限制的女性的模型。与第一类和第二类女性形象相反, 第三类女性是属于自我的。如果说第二类女性是男人们理想的形象, 那么第三类女性则是女性自我理想的形象, 她摆脱了男性的传统束缚, 获得了自由的地位, 使女性从传统观念中解放出来。“这种新形象的出现是同人类追求平等思想的巨大进步密不可分的, 它体现了同女性最新社会地位相适应的民主思想。”第三类女性不同于力图摆脱历史和社会的前卫女性, 因为无论是历史还是现实社会都是无法割裂的, 她综合了前卫女性及传统女性的特点,同时本身又具有新的特点。认真读过《红字》, 用心感受海丝特的内心世界, 我们惊喜地发现, 原来霍桑早在 150 多年前就已经在海丝特身上为我们塑造了第三类女性的雏形。尽管霍桑是一个男人, 尽管他也存在着比较浓厚的宗教意识以及历史和社会的局限性, 尽管他在作品中也不时地流露出男性对女性特有的矛盾心理, 但他在《红字》中塑造了海丝特这么一个倍受女性主义文学批评家推崇的“女性中心形象”
The first and the second kind of women
Two contradictory categories of female exist in old culture: the first being those discrminated. Men and women, ever since the day they are created by God, are placed in unequal positions. The inviolable ideology of men over women has its roots in Bible. Long since then, men are seen more valuable than women and are respected for all possible positive reasons; on the contrary, women are unavoidably inferior to men and only incurs misfortune. They are not only ugly but also usually connected to viciousness and indulgency. The mythology of the Creation is filled with such evil depiction of women: if they are not enticing men into Satan's trap, they must be bringing agonizations and even deaths to men and disorganizing the world in one way or another. Eve gave it a try of the fruit in the Garden of Eden, against God's will; and even shared it with her husband, implicating Adam in the sin. Women, subsequently became the reason of men's fall, cursed for thousands of years. This point of view has ruled over all the others for the majority part of civilization history, effectively causing nearly all traditional culture and literature to be full of hatred against women, which, is referred to as Miogny by feminism critics.
The second kind is those being praised. After the middle of Middle age, the attack and discrimination on women waned. Oppositely, they are known for their moral virtues and feast; they are praised for their good role in family. The Renaissance has broken away from the old belief of the evilness of women, rediscovering the beauty of females. They are like the sunshine that travel through the dark, cold mental world of men, lighting and warming them, raising their social status and prestige; they are like the angels, saving men's spirits, leading them to the immortality of heaven. Virgin Maria is just the model of this. The New Testament has told a miraculous pregnancy that places her under the holy light of every church, out of the ingenius compositions of poets and artists, as well as the actual incarnation of good will, sainty and beauty. The second sex, on the Europe continent in the Renaissance, is the sex of goodness that's come under innumerable laud. However, to some point, this is limited to literature which, is powerless to penetrate the deepest corner of the old doctrines of sex discrimination reality. On the contrary, it is used as a rather handy excuse for the women to be confined to the small circle of family. Authority and reasoning still speaks on men's ground, and women are only left with the superficial beauty and vulnerability. Women rarely have any presence in the politics, and no economical independence either. This said, whichever category they fall into, they are inevitably the creation of man's will, and bound to work for men's social status. Consequently both of them is attached to men, controlled and manipulated by men, no independence and standing personality. In the end, Hawthorn created yet another kind in the Scarlet, distinct from the first and the second, Hester Brand.
The third kind of women
In the eyes of men, Hester should have been in the first kind, which is heavily discriminated, because she never submit herself to men's will, lives an independent life, dreaming of a society where they are treated just as the men, which, brings the most fearful imaginations to the male world. But from another angle, her tenderness, goodness, patience, tolerance and diligence as a mother reflects what men have conceived and praised as the second kind. The contradictions of Angel and siren as well as Maria and Eve have given way to this special, vital and self-standing beauty of females. We are enlightened by Hester, that a complete woman should be the combination of the first and the second kind - not only do they carry the charming chemistry endowed to women, but radiates with upright personality and unique thoughts. The French writer 吉尔里波韦兹基 pointed out in his book 第三类女性——女性地位的不变性与可变性 that, the 20th century movement of women liberation had such an immense impact on the development of humanity that overweighted all other in history. The tremendous change in the social status of women have made those over the last thousands of years minor. Be it the fist kind or second, women are the attachment of men, bent over to men's will without independence. And now the idea of democracy and pioneering humanity gives no room for such dependence any more. Household women are no longer what they used to be. Women are presented with the equal rights to study and work aside men, with many other rights as election rights, divorce rights, sexual freedom and birth rights. These, are what makes the third kind - the kind with no boundaries. Compared with the first and the second, the third kind belongs to herself. Given the second kind is what men believe to be the perfect model, the third is what women themselves believe to be the ideal one, who has broken out of the shackles, gaining freedom, and liberated from old ideologies. The third kind, also distinguishes themselves from pioneering women who were trying to break free in history, because it's impossible for the history and reality to be split apart, and because she has acquired the qualities from both of them, burgeoning her own at the same time. After intimate reading of Scarlet, touching the inner world of Hester, we are glad to find that, as early as 150 years ago, Hawthorn has sculpted the prototype of the third kind of women. Despite that he is a man, and with religious background, restricted by history and society, and although he has from time to time exposed the restless mind of a man who's faced by a woman, Hawthorn successfully introduced in Scarlet the controversial female character constantly canonized by feminism critics, Hester.