Comparing Reputation In The Scarlet Letter And The Crucible By Arthur Miller

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Emma Whitehouse
Mr. Thackston
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

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