Embroidery In The Scarlet Letter And The Crucible By Arthur Miller

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What do witchcraft and embroidery have to do with each other? Well, the answer is the texts of The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne and The Crucible by Arthur Miller. Hawthorne’s piece tells the story of a woman who bore a child out of wedlock to her Reverend and she is forced to wear an embroidered letter A for the rest of her life. Miller’s piece is a focus on the mass hysteria of the Salem Witch trials, in which, “Nineteen men and women were hanged, one was pressed to death, and over a hundred others were imprisoned and impoverished” (Hill). The Scarlet Letter and The Crucible are alike and different in several ways: They share an importance of reputation, a conflicted male, and absolutist beliefs, while they differ by loyalties, town …show more content…

Absolutism is defined as, “the ethical belief that there are absolute standards against which moral questions can be judged and that certain actions are right or wrong, regardless of the context of the act.” (Mastin) Each of these pieces is set in an era focused around the Puritan beliefs, which is an absolutist belief because they have specific rights and wrongs. This way of thinking is what caused so many people to die because of accused witchcraft and also gave Hester such a bad reputation regardless of her good qualities. In The Crucible, Hale solidifies this idea that their beliefs are absolute when he says, “Theology, sir, is a fortress; no crack in a fortress may be accounted small.” (p. …show more content…

In Miller’s work, the town knows in a sense that witches aren’t actually running rampant in Salem, they are just driven by fear to act that way. Mary Warren tries to explain this to Danforth when she tries to explain her pretense by saying, “I – I used to faint because I – I thought I saw spirits!” (p. 1205) However, in Hawthorne’s work, the town has no idea that Hester’s lover was actually their esteemed reverend. They also don’t know that Roger Chillingworth was Hester’s long lost husband, out for

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