Similarities Between The Scarlet Letter And The Crucible

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Niccolo Machiavelli once said, “If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.” The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne and The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, are set in the seventeenth century puritan New England. Adherence to puritan values is paramount, yet both protagonists commit grievous sins around which the plot revolves. The fall from grace, the subsequent consequences and the transformation of all the characters is uniform across both books. The metamorphosis of the protagonists is similar yet so distinct that it seems that Hawthorne and Miller are trying to convey the same message in different dialects of the same language. Vengeance is the recurrent theme in both the books and…show more content…
The end results are completely unique but also quite similar. John Proctor says, “How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!” (Miller 133). Arthur Dimmesdale says, “Stand any here that question God’s judgement on a sinner! Behold! Behold a dreadful witness of it!” (Hawthorne 252). In the end, moments before their demise, both Proctor and Dimmesdale try to be true to themselves, and all the fellow townsfolk in a long time. Both have committed a sin and yet have carried this weight around, groaning under the moral strain this puts on them. Both have taken part in acts of adultery, and have thus broken one of the commandments. At the most fundamental level; however, their sins and the subsequent consequences couldn’t be further apart. Proctor’s life is turned upside-down after Williams begins to accuse other Salem citizens and he pretends to not let that affect him, even though it gnaws on him until he is forced to take action when his wife is accused and arrested. In the end though, he has to make one of two choices, either to confess and blame other innocents or to plead not guilty and be hanged from the neck until death. His attempt at discrediting Williams through revealing his adulterous relationship with her has already failed.
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