Essay On Hester Prynne And Abigail And The Crucible

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In Nathaniel Hawthorne 's The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne gives birth to a daughter through an affair and makes an effort to lead a new life of repentance and self-respect. Meanwhile, Arthur Miller 's The Crucible, set in the same Puritan society of Salem, tells a dramatized story of the Salem Witch Trials. Abigail Williams, an intelligent and manipulative young woman, covets a married man, John Proctor, and tries to get his wife, Elizabeth Proctor, killed in the trials. To begin with, both Hester Prynne and Abigail Williams are beautiful, independent women who have a thirst for life and are driven by a noble emotion: love. Yet, Abigail 's love leads to her own corruption, while Hester 's love becomes her personal strength. Hester does not…show more content…
Both of these characters commit adultery and both live in the same restricted Puritan era. Yet, Hester is publically ashamed, isolated from the Puritan society, and remains a legend, while Abigail is revered, embraced by her society, and in fact is a ruthless woman; Hawthorne 's Hester is the epitome of atonement and morality, while Miller 's Abigail is an illustration of authority in the wrong hands, and the destructive impact jealousy and vengeance can have on a person.
The circumstances which both of these women live in play a large role in shaping their characters. Abigail is a pariah in the society who has painful experiences with love, which are major contributing factors in making her resentful. Miller creates an atmosphere of a really restrictive society in Salem. Through strict adherence to religious doctrine, the Puritans demonstrate their honesty, honor, and faithfulness. They want to establish a community that shines as a beacon of God 's greatness to the world, and they consider material and physical wants---in particular, sexual desires as the devil 's work and a threat to the society. The Puritans have no tolerance for
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