Abigail and Hester, a Comparison of Two Puritans Outline
In The Scarlet Letter and The Crucible, both Nathaniel Hawthorne and Arthur Miller write about Puritan England, sin and the importance reputation. In both books, the authors use Hester Prynne and Abigail William, to create the theme of reputation, and it’s changeability.
In The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne uses Hester to create the theme of reputation by presenting her as a woman whose reputation was ruined by an extramarital affair. She endures being forced to stand on a scaffold while holding her newborn babe, while villagers gossip below. "You must needs be a stranger in this region, friend," answered the townsman, looking curiously at the …show more content…
She hath raised a great scandal, I promise you, in godly Master Dimmesdale's church. " (Hawthorn, pg 34.) Her scandal is so great the townsman feels the need to tell a stranger of her terrible reputation, completely surprised that the stranger doesn’t know of it. Several years after the public shaming, Hester supported herself with needlework. She sewed a wide range of items, “But it is not recorded that, in a single instance, her skill was called in to embroider the white veil which was to cover the pure blushes of a bride. The exception indicated the ever relentless vigour with which society frowned upon her sin.” (Hawthorn, pg 48.) Even years after she committed adultery, her reputation was still so foul that the townsfolk would not allow her to make things deemed “pure.” They thought it was inappropriate. Still later, seven years after Hester was forced to stand upon the scaffold, the minister Arthur Dimmesdale announced that he was the one Hester committed adultery with, and then fell down, dead. “The crowd was in a tumult. The men of rank and dignity, who stood more
If you’ve ever read The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller, or The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, you may have made a connection between the two. These two texts relate in many different ways and of course, they also have numerous differences. While comparing and contrasting the two texts, The Crucible and The Scarlet Letter, I concluded on three similarities including: a conflicted male, reputation, and setting; three differences include: reactions from Hester and Abigail, attitude of Roger Chillingworth and Elizabeth Proctor, and the communities’ opinions on the Reverends. John Proctor from the Crucible and Arthur Dimmesdale from the Scarlet Letter both share a conflict in theses texts. Both characters obviously, have made the decision
The narrative follows Hester Prynne, a single mother who has committed adultery and is forced to wear a letter "A" as her mark of shame. The Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony were known for their strict laws and adherence to Protestant values, so when Hester commits an act of sin, society punishes her harshly. The Puritan setting reinforces the novel’s themes of personal responsibility and shame, further spotlighting Hester’s struggle to make it through harsh societal expectations and find redemption within herself. Similarly, The Crucible takes place in Puritan Salem, Massachusetts. The Puritan setting in this play supports its themes of spiritual belief and careless loyalty to laws and justice.
A single mistake can wholly compromise an individual’s ability to accomplish their dreams. Hillary Clinton’s blunder in handling the United States’ confidential emails could very well have cost her the presidency. Knowing the possible consequences if the truth of the situation was released, she fabricated lies in hopes of maintaining her political power. Similarly, throughout both The Scarlet Letter, a fiction novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Arthur Miller’s historical fiction play, The Crucible, people are willing to go to great lengths in order to maintain their statuses. Transpiring in 17th century New England, The Scarlet Letter follows a woman by the name of Hester Prynne who endures unrelenting ignominy after giving birth to
In The Scarlet Letter the narrator says, “Be true! Be true! If you will not show the world your worst, at least show some quality that suggests to others the worst in you!” (Hawthorne, 224) This quote accurately sums up the dilemma that the characters in The Crucible by Arthur Miller and The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne face.
The townspeople “[began] to look upon the scarlet letter as a token, not of that one sin, for which she had borne so long and dreary a penance, but of her many good deeds since.” This quote exemplifies how sin is not a death sentence for Hester. Through hard work and charity it allowed the rigid Puritan society to see her as something different, and as someone who would not let society define who she was. Hester, thus, was not only able to change herself, but also the image in which society viewed her by working hard to benefit the public. Likewise, the scarlet letter which was supposed to represent sin was instead “fantastically embroidered with gold thread, upon her bosom.”
In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, and in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, there exists a common theme of adultery, a sin according to the commandments of the Puritan church. The stories center around the adulterers- John Proctor in The Crucible, and Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter. Both are members of early Puritan communities that are known for their very devout faith. Each character shows different reactions and feelings towards the sin, and each must face different consequences. A common theme that brings the two characters together is that they are given a chance to escape their sin and move on with their lives.
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Scarlet Letter, and Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible, were both works that illustrated strong, prominent themes. Even though they told two very different stories, they both had similar themes that contributed to the overall outcome of their stories. The Scarlet Letter and The Crucible had unmistakably similar themes of love, revenge, and penitence. The theme of love is the most obvious theme throughout the works.
Reputation is the beliefs or opinions that are generally held about someone or something. Reputation can directly correlate with pride, which is a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one 's own achievements. Reputations are very important to the characters in The Crucible and if they want to preserve their reputation, through pride, they do whatever is necessary to keep it. In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, the characters John Proctor, Abigail Williams, and Judge Danforth all show dramatic actions to preserve their reputations, each of these characters either hurt themselves or others by being prideful and dishonest for the sake of their good name. There are several ways that Abigail Williams shows her objective of preserving her reputation in the book.
This is exemplified by Hester Prynn’s gradual strengthening of herself, and the ways that she tries to protect Pearl from the sins that she herself has committed. It is also shown by Proctor’s feeling of guilt by committing adultery with Abigail, and his attempt to relieve his own guilt by throwing blame onto her, and then eventually deciding to confess to something he did not commit in order to save his wife. While the characters in both prose commit similar sins, it is interesting to investigate the differing ways by which their attitudes and motives develop. Sin plays a major role in both “The Scarlet Letter” and “The Crucible.”
In Salem, having a good reputation is extremely important. You are accepted by society, and if you don’t have a good reputation you will be completely rejected. John Proctor would no longer be thought of an honorably straight and moral person. Reverend Parris would lose all of his respect and not be accepted by the citizens. And Judge Danforth would always be questioned and looked bad upon for accusing the innocent.
Punishment of Puritans for their sins occurred harshly and frequently, and these punishments ranged from fines, branding, and severe whippings to hanging and death. Many of these penalties involved public humiliation of some kind, which made it extremely difficult for townspeople to accept by their peers after they had sinned. Because the Puritans believed religion was immensely important, the community was often reluctant to allow citizens that exhibited sinful behavior to achieve redemption (Cox). However, in the case of Hester Prynne, an adulterer in Nathaniel Hawthorne 's The Scarlet Letter, the townspeople eagerly made amends with her. This novel narrates the life of Hester Prynne, who committed adultery and courageously accepted the repercussions
We are all sinners, no matter how hard we try to hide our faults, they always seem to come back, one way or another. Written in the 19th century, Nathaniel Hawthorne shows us Hester Prynne and how one sin can change her life completely. Hester Prynne changes a great deal throughout The Scarlet Letter. Through the view of the Puritans, Hester is an intense sinner; she has gone against the Puritan way of life committing the highest act of sin, adultery. For committing such a sinful act, Hester must wear the scarlet letter while also having to bear stares from those that gossip about her.
She is a beautiful, young woman who has sinned, but is forgiven. Hawthorne portrays Hester as "divine maternity" and she can do no wrong. Not only Hester, but also the physical scarlet letter, a sign of shame, is shown as a beautiful, gold and colorful piece which
In the “Scarlet Letter,” Nathaniel Hawthorne portrays hypocrisy of the Puritan society, where the protagonist Hester Prynne face many consequences of her actions and the how she tries to redeem herself to the society. During the seventeenth puritans believe that it is their mission to punish the ones who do not follow God’s word and it is their job to stop those from sinning. Therefore, the hypercritical puritan society punishes Hester harshly for committing adultery, but in Hester’s mind, she believes that what she did was not a sin but acts of love for her man. Eventually, she redeems herself by turning her crime into an advantage to help those in need, yet the Puritan society still view her as a “naughty bagger.” (Hawthorne 78)