Thematic Synthesis Essay: The Crucible And The Scarlet Letter

Good Essays
Thematic Synthesis Paper
The Crucible and the Scarlet Letter
Different forms of punishments among Puritans served the dual purpose of inspiring individuals to repent and preserving certain social norm (ehow.com).This is shown in both “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller and “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne the unique ways for the guilty to suffer for example in the scarlet letter Hester Prynne had to wear a letter of her bosom forever and was used as an example of shame publically. And in the Crucible, Salem witch trials were held in which people were hanged if they did not confess for witchcraft, even if they were innocent. Some characters did not expose their guilt like Rev. Dimmesdale – who was an adulterer and John Proctor—who committed
…show more content…
This is seen in the scarlet letter when Hester had to stand in the middle and everyone was watching her and the baby, “ She turned her eyes, downward, at the scarlet letter and even touched it with her finger, to assure herself if that infant and the shame is real”(Hawthorne 78). This shows how shameful Hester has felt and wants this all to be a dream as she does not want to suffer from shame and live her entire life with that scarlet letter on her bosom. This also shows how guilty Hester is feeling as she is made an example of shame and that everyone will look at wherever she is going. A similar thing is seen in the Crucible when innocent people like Rebecca nurse and Elizabeth Proctor are accused of being witches and they could be only set free if they confess and if they are saying no they will be hanged. As John Proctor in the Crucible said, “If she is innocent…Is the accuser always holy now...? I’ll tell you what’s walking in Salem— vengeance is walking in Salem. We are what we were now the little crazy children are jangling the keys kingdom and common vengeance writes the law!”(Miller 74). This shows how the Salem people, scared of witches were now controlled by whatever children said even if they blamed innocent and holy people as witches. This also shows how Salem finds the accuser holy and how the …show more content…
Guilt could be kept a secret to keep one’s reputation good in the eyes of the society. An obvious example of this is Rev. Dimmesdale in the Scarlet Letter. Dimmesdale has committed adultery with Hester Prynne. He does not reveal his guilt as he is an honored and well respected man in the society and he does not want to blacken his name. But this lead to Dimmesdale suffering internally all the time which is more severe this destroys him as he himself says,” Happy are you Hester, that wear the scarlet letter openly upon your bosom. Mine burns in secret.”(Hawthorne 232). This shows that Dimmesdale is feeling very sad as his guilt is deep and has destroyed him internally and made him weak. This also shows that as Dimmesdale is the clergyman of the church it is his duty to keep people on the right path but when he himself is guilty of sin he is just embarrassing himself in front of himself which makes him more weak and powerless. He is also not forgiving himself, this destruction of one’s soul by guilt and not forgiving oneself can also be seen in the Crucible when John Proctor who had committed lechery with Abigail tries saving his name and reputation by keeping his lechery a secret from the society. By keeping this secret he has only earned weakness and coldness from his wife Elizabeth Proctor who does not trust her husband anymore. This made Proctor weak and burdened with

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Many people accused each other of being witches to ensure their own survival, not caring about those they accused. This led to many people being tried and hanged as witches. Through these events, the witch trials revealed three characteristics of humanity that drove the people in Salem to carry out the trials; reputation, self-preservation, and fear. In “The Crucible,” Arthur Miller reveals the flawed side of humanity through characterization, dramatization, and imagery. The first flawed characteristic…

    • 1334 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Dimmesdale decides that he must keep his sin secret from the people because he is a beloved minister of the people ( 114; ch.VII). His duties as a minister includes encouraging people to confess their sins to God and receive the necessary punishment. This makes the minister guilty of two crimes, hypocrisy, and adultery. The consequences of Dimmesdale’s punishment is not immediately visible in the novel. The main problem for Dimmesdale is the intense guilt he feels for not confessing his sin ( 121; ch.…

    • 1224 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Heroes tend to have conventional moral values, and face conflict head on. Reverend Dimmesdale possesses all of these qualities, and is all of these things. Wearing the scarlet letter not only affected Hester, but Dimmesdale too. Seeing the townspeople displaying hatred toward Hester, and nothing but admiration towards himself truly upset him. He is unable to express this pain, and makes himself ill by internalizing it.…

    • 1074 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    While the minister showed his guilt it made him isolated from society. The reason he was isolated was because of his openness with his guilt which gave him a sense of evil. Because the minister can not forgive himself and he rejects the forgiveness from others and isolates himself even more. This guilt that he has prevents him, from feeling forgiven and isolates him as punishment for his sin (“Isolation and Community”). His isolation then increases because no one wants to be around his ominus sense of guilt that goes with his veil leading to many people leaving him (Leary 75).…

    • 1261 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    –they will topple me with this: they will make of it a…” This quote is referring to Act One when Parris is worried that the bewitchment in his house from Betty will cause a bad reputation. Gabriel also had to face adversity with his reputation for being a good priest by not killing anyone. But because the pressures from other people, he killed, ruining his reputation. I think Gabriel Stokes is a great fit for the role of Parris because of his adversity with his…

    • 1061 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    For instance, Arthur Dimmesdale who committed adultery with Hester denies bearing the punishment he is accounted for. The townspeople thought he is a true priest and a religious man. People considered him sinless and a model to look up in the society whereby putting their utmost faith in him. With the view of the people, Dimmesdale is made to concern the position he hold and notions of the people who have intense faith and respect in him. This attention he gained from the society made him conceal his sin instead of admitting it which makes him a hypocrite (Foster, 2013).…

    • 786 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    However, the oblivious townspeople believe that the reason he is clutching his chest is because he is overcome by a passion for the liturgy. They think that their pastor is the epitome of a Puritanical citizen and honor him for it. However, he has committed one of the most grievous sins in the Puritanical society and has no one to turn to. His reputation in the town grows and he is torn in two different ways, reveal his affair with Hester and possibly be banished from the town or killed, or keep his sin a secret and allow the guilt to eat him alive. He is living two different lives, the one of a sinner, and the one of the godly pastor.…

    • 1359 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Scarlet Letter Sin

    • 1134 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Dimmesdale faces less of a public punishment but internally harms himself for the sin as well, feeling regretful about his past action. He is very well respected by his peers and is challenged throughout the book as to whether or not he should admit to his sin before people discover that he fathered Hester 's child, Peral. The book focuses on the lives of Hester and Dimmesdale after they commit their sin and how…

    • 1134 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Judge Hathorne shows his inability to step back away from Christian theocracy and into common sense by wrongfully accusing townspeople of being witches, by following the possessed girls’ exact words and not justifying those decisions by any other way. This eventually sends fear through everyone in Salem by making them think that there are several witches living in Salem, which was false. The main character in the story is Abigail Williams, and at near at the end of the first act, she and the other girls falsely accuse some women in the town of being with the Devil, which then who the townspeople and judges investigate. Abigail was starting to call out innocent townspeople of…

    • 1506 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In the story, Arthur Dimmesdale, a respected reverend, commits adultery. While that is something that is seen as dishonorable and his character traits do suggest that he is a coward, he does the best he can to make up for his actions. In fact, not even the omniscient narrator knows what to make of him. Unlike the narrator, however, the townspeople are quick to judge despite them knowing only one aspect of the pastor: what he is like in church. They paint him as a wonderful man while not knowing of his inner sins.…

    • 1165 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays