In The Scarlet Letter, there are two ways for a woman to be marked, either she is a virgin or she's an adulterer, but when there is a way to be marked, there should be a way to be unmarked right? While Deborah Tannen in "There Is No Unmarked Woman" argues that there is no possible way for a woman to be unmarked or go under the radar. I think this applies to American society today, but not necessarily in every society. In today's society, women are marked by their appearance, title, career, marital status, and many more. Today it is impossible for a woman to be unmarked because even the plainest Jane will be marked by her plainness.
I believe that in The Scarlet Letter the way to be unmarked was through maternity. First of all, a woman's role in Puritan society was to follow the Lord, her husband and raise a family. That was their job, if they didn't follow that then they were marked. The high expectation for mother's to be wholesome and essentially good was a high one to live out. When Hester was first being displayed to the townspeople she was compared to the
"Divine Maternity, which so many illustrious painters have vied with one another to represent; something which should remind him, indeed, but only by contrast, of that image of sinless motherhood, whose infant was to redeem the world"(39).
In Puritan society, it was impossible to be unmarked without having the appearance and reputation of motherly perfection.