Shame In The Crucible

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What do you think the worst punishment for a crime could be? Death, life in prison, torture, or something else? What about shame? Many people wouldn’t even think of shame as being a punishment. There is an old proverb that says “Shame is worse than death”. It’s funny to think that shame could be a worse punishment than death or prison, but it’s quite true. Our nation is over 200 years old and we are heavily influenced by those who originally came to the new world, the Puritans. Puritan society was the foundation for many things, punishment being no exception and shame as a method of it included. Through the analyzation of literature and media, we can see just how much the Puritans influenced and continues to influence our modern day society. …show more content…

As can be seen in both The Scarlet Letter and The Crucible Puritan society saw discipline and punishment as very important and the method they used for that was shame, the same is applied to Halo 2. In The Scarlet Letter, Hester must wear the A as a mark of shame and in Halo 2 Thel branded with an actual Mark of Shame on his chest. In both instances, the marks served to punish the recipient of them and to make them feel ashamed. Even in The Crucible, though shame isn’t meant to be a punishment to the women accused of witchcraft, it has the same effect. In every case, the recipient of the shame is ridiculed, condemned, and even hated. This torment can be so much worse than death, whether it be hanging from the noose in The Crucible or being hung by one’s entrails in Halo 2. Hester even begins to lose her identity in the story, the scarlet A consumes her and soon that’s all anyone notices when they look at her. The same happens with Thel ‘Vadam, except he completely loses his identity and is only referred to by his rank of punishment, the Arbiter and never again by his name. Furthermore, in all three examples there is use of a public demonstration in one way or another. In The Scarlet Letter Hester must stand up on the scaffold in front of the townspeople while she bears the A on her chest. In Halo 2, ‘Vadam has his armor and rank taken away and is branded for the entire army to see. Finally in The Crucible, the Witches are tried and hanged publicly for the town to

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