Compare And Contrast John Proctor And Arthur Dimmesdale

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John Proctor and Arthur Dimmesdale

John Proctor in The Crucible and Arthur Dimmesdale in The Scarlet Letter follow a similar course throughout both of their stories. Both men are of similar age and stature, and hold respected roles within their communities. Be it an act of lust or an act of love, both committed adultery, because of their high social status both try to hide their sin. This then leads to their internal conflict, but it is resolved after they make peace with themselves. Their confessions to their communities bring upon their ultimate downfall. Arthur Dimmesdale is the Minister of Boston, and revered by many. One reason he feels the need to hide his sin is hypocrisy. He knows that it is an evil thing for him to be teaching
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Because of his affair his home is filled with distrust, and he is no longer the unquestionable man of the house. In the second act Elizabeth, John’s wife, trails away from their conversation at the first mention of John and Abigail alone. John knows that his wife does not trust him, and the although she has every right to be suspicious, the accusations still drive him mad. “Woman. I’ll not have your suspicion anymore. I’ll not have it!” (193). John is unable to go about in his own home without dispute, due to his initial sin. This is similar to the internal conflict of Arthur, but different in the form of pain. Unlike Proctor, Dimmesdale is in physical pain from his secret. Dimmesdale can not repent for his sin; therefore, he is keeping the guilt inside and handling it in his own ways. “In Mr. Dimmesdale’s secret closet, under lock and key, there was a bloody scourge. Oftentimes, this Protestant and Puritan divine had plied it on his own shoulders…” (141). Along with self torture, Arthur also goes for long periods of time without food or sleep as punishment. Within both stories there comes a time when the inner quarrel stops, and the men find ways to come to term with their …show more content…
When Mary is unable to convince the court she was lying along with the other girls, John realizes he must tell everyone of his sin in order to save his wife. “(his voice about to break, and his shame great). In the proper place-where my beasts are bedded. On the last night of my joy, some eight months past. She used to serve me in my house sir. (He has to clamp his jaw to keep from weeping) … And well she might, for I thought of her softly. God help me, I lusted, and there is a promise in such sweat. But it is a whore’s vengeance, and you must see it; I set myself entirely in your hands.” (220-221). Here John is laying down his pride and making it known that he has sinned. He has come to terms with his mistake to save his wife. “I have made a bell of my honor! I have rung the doom of my good name … ” (221). Although this plan ultimately fails and leads to his destruction, it is still a moment of relief for him. Arthur Dimmesdale also finds this relief during his meeting in the woods, and later during the parade. While they were talking in the forest, Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale agree to leave the town together with Pearl and leave behind all that ails them. “‘Do I feel joy again!’ cried he, wondering at himself. ‘Methought the germ of it was dead in me! O Hester, thou art my better angel! I seem to have flung myself-sick, sin-stained, and sorrow-blackened-down

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