The Scarlet Letter and The Crucible Essay

1820 Words Feb 11th, 2015 8 Pages
Huston 1

Zakary Huston
Mr. Montalbano
AP English Language and Composition
11 August 2014
The Scarlet Crucible

Both Arthur Miller’s
The Crucible and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s
The Scarlet Letter include

instance of settlers of the New England colonies being affected by Puritan law. Their commentary on Puritan society is spread throughout their works. Their views on the laws set forth by Puritanism are easily found within their stories about the various occurrences in a theocracy. Through their writing, we can understand Hawthorne’s and Miller’s ideas about several aspects of Puritan society, such as the community’s treatment of outsiders, Puritanical views about sin and forgiveness, and hypocrisy in that society.
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If she entered a church… it was often her mishap to find herself the text of the discourse” (Hawthorne 38). In addition to recognizing the persecution

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these outcasts faced, both authors acknowledged that Puritan society at least allowed the ostracized to redeem themselves. Miller’s Proctor was given the chance to confess to his witchery; however, his honesty and pride did not permit him to be saved. In Hester Prynne’s case, by doing good works, such as making clothes for the needy, for such a long time after her experience of public ignominy, the people began to admire her charity, and, “Such helpfulness was found in her… that many people refused to interpret the scarlet
A
by its original signification. They said it meant
Able
; so strong was Hester Prynne…” (Hawthorne 113). Puritan society treated sinners harshly, but, as Hawthorne and Miller describe in their writing, there is always hope for them.

Sin and forgiveness are momentous themes in Puritan life, and the authors say a lot on

these subjects in their books. Both authors obviously agreed on the nature of sin, and that
Puritanical sin was viewed as devil’s work, as both stories make references connecting sin to cooperating with the devil; examples include Mistress Hibbins of
The Scarlet Letter
’s invitations to the forest forest and a lot of the dialogue found in
The Crucible
. Hawthorne and Miller also agree that, in a Puritan society, sinning and breaking the law

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