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Comparing The Crucible and the Scarlet Letter

Uploaded by PeachiKiwi on Apr 21, 2001

The Puritans had a heavily important part in the formation of early America, as well as a religion that influenced our early American society. This society has been the target which many authors have picked to set their novels in. The topic of Puritan life contains a broad list of aspects that can be easily compared to one another in several different books. Two selections that go into detail about some of the different aspects of the Puritan people are The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, and The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. These two particular writers who wrote of Puritan times conveyed, in their text, the similarities of religion, punishment, and adultery in the Puritan community of 17th century.

Briefly, The Crucible looks at some the actual historical events of the Salem witch trials. It was witchcraft that the story was set around, and it threatened the purity of the Salem community. As a result, frenzy was established, with characters accusing others of witchery.

In the novel The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne commits the sin of adultery, and then is confined to wear an embroidered scarlet-colored “A” on her chest, to signify what she had done. She does not release the name of the other adulterer, and leads a life with her daughter, Pearl. Reverend Dimmesdale, the secret father of the child, struggles against himself due to the fact that he doesn’t confess to everyone his sin.

Religion was of great importance in the Puritan society. It gave a guideline for the morals that citizens should follow. In Miller’s novel, Puritan religion was at the center of town. People were judged by it, and were only and not with the devil holy if they followed it. They were also questioned by it. Hale asks Proctor, “… I note that you are rarely in the church on Sabbath Day. Twenty-six time in seventeen month, sir… Will you tell me why you are so absent?” (Miller 64) An example of the strictness of religion and moral beliefs in The Scarlet Letter is when Hester is patronized for her sin. The religion forbid it, therefore it was strongly frowned upon by society. This strong following of Puritan religion is conveyed in both novels and mentioned throughout.

As law is in most communities today, there is no doubt that religion was put on one of the highest pedestals of the Puritan community. Due to the fact...

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Uploaded by:   PeachiKiwi

Date:   04/21/2001

Category:   The Crucible

Length:   4 pages (1,012 words)

Views:   2643

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