Abigail Williams and Hester Prynne

Topics: The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne, Nathaniel Hawthorne Pages: 2 (789 words) Published: October 14, 2010
Women in Power: A Compare and Contrast of Hester Prynne and Abigail Williams Abigail Williams and Hester Prynne were two very different characters in books about the same Puritan religion. The two had many differences and even a few ways they were alike. Their views on society and their reaction on how they reacted to the way they were treated by the Puritans. Hester feared society and thought that it was something to be avoided, while Abigail long to be the center of attention. While Hester attracted further into herself as she was being judged for her adultery, Abigail resorted to lying to protect herself. Their natures could not have been more different, but they did have some things in common. They both wanted more power as women, and were accused of the sin of adultery. Although Hester Prynne was not as obvious as Abigail as she flaunted society, she disliked it more than Abigail did. Abigail didn’t like society because it restricted her in the things that she wanted to do. “Abigail: Uncle, we did dance; let you tell them I confessed it- and I’ll be whipped if I must be” (Miller, 10). Hester didn’t like society because of its judgmental nature, and the way she was tormented for her sin. “Behold, verily, there is the woman of the scarlet letter, and of a truth, moreover, there is the likeness of the scarlet letter running along by her side! Come, therefore, and let us fling mud at them!” (Hawthorne, 53). The major difference was that Abigail found a way to be higher in society, by lying in the witch trials and accusing others. “I saw Goody Booth with the Devil!” (Miller, 18). Hester simply retracted herself further from society, and became about embracing her natural rights instead of fitting into the mold of a woman in her setting. “The woman of the scarlet letter in the market place!” (Hawthorne, 201)

Abigail liked having power, and would have done whatever it took to gain it, like manipulating the other girls in the village so that her...
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