As much as one may try to avoid sin, everyone will sin at some point in their life. However, there have been groups of people who spend much of their time getting as close to perfection as possible. One of the most extreme groups with this goal were the 17th century Puritans who immigrated from England to America. They set some of the toughest laws to follow and inflicted harsh sentences on those who broke them. Of course there were people who broke these laws and paid the consequences. Usually this was the case because of their pride. Still, not everyone was punished; many people escaped unharmed with their "crimes". Two books written about the Puritan time period, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne and The Crucible by
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I have known her" (Miller 110). Proctor is also given the option of public humiliation, yet he chooses to lose his own life rather than to lie. His action shows the value of the truly moral Puritan that if they relieve themselves of sins in life that they will be forgiven in the next. Because of this, both of the main characters choose a harsh punishment over the lighter consequences. Besides the main characters, there were also others who were punished for their sins with harsh sentences. In The Crucible, Giles suspected his wife of evil doings and ended up being sentenced to death himself. Furthermore, in The Scarlet Letter, Governor Bellingham's sister is eventually hanged because she is suspected of being a witch. These examples show how all of these people were not perfect, and all of the strict punishments that they endured.
Not all sinners, however, had to suffer the necessary punishments of their sins. The most notable person in this unscathed group is Abigail from Arthur Miller's novel. By the end of the book, this teenager is shown as an entirely corrupt person who is guilty of multiple sins, including adultery and lying. Abigail is a good example of a Puritan who turns to sin when the righteous Puritan life does not work for her. Another person who also commits the sin of lying is Abigail's uncle, the minister Parris. This man lies when he says in court, "I can only say, I never found any of them