The Scarlet Letter, By Nathaniel Hawthorne And Abigail Williams From The Crucible By Arthur Miller

1554 Words Nov 23rd, 2015 7 Pages
Former president, Bill Clinton once said, “If you live long enough, you’ll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you’ll be a better person. It’s how you handle adversity, not how it affects you.” In literature, characters can evolve from their mistakes, they can handle their conflicts in different ways, and they can have positive or negative change. Both Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Abigail Williams from The Crucible by Arthur Miller commit adultery in a time the shamed and punished those who were guilty of doing so to a much higher degree than in today’s society. Adultery was a hideous sin, punishable, sometimes even by death. The woman took much, if not all, of the blame for the act during this time period. Hester and Abigail respond to their sin in ways that could not be more contradictory; although they face similar challenges, they are complete opposites. Hester learns from her mistake, in fact, she ends up prosperous, while Abigail denies her transgression and her morality languishes.

In reading both works, it is very clear that Hester and Abigail handle their adversity differently. The two of them were found guilty of adultery. Dealing with the situation in the most mature and dignified way, Hester took full responsibility, and thrived throughout the story to show the people of her town that she was more than just an adulteress. When Hester gave birth to Pearl, her daughter, the entire town knew that Hester “was the wife of…

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