Comparison of Crucible and the Scarlet Letter

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Sofia Kaufman



Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter and Arthur Miller's The Crucible are both distinctly different narratives of the Salem Witch trials. The Scarlet Letter is a novel and The Crucible is a play. While The Scarlet Letter deals mainly with the sin of adultery, The Crucible mainly deals with witchcraft. Both have obvious similarities like the setting and the crime, however, one of the greatest similarities between the two is the loyalty of the Puritan people to their appointed officials. Whether they were church or court officials, the public supported them no matter what, because in their theocratic society, the eyes of the officials were those of God.

In The Scarlet Letter Hester Prynne's punishment was assigned to her by a highly prestigious panel of men from the Churches and Courts of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. All of the townspeople came to see Hester Prynne's punishment because of their loyalty to the court. They had to see what was going on with the court, because that is what they held in highest regard.

"Now, good Sir, our Massachusetts magistracy, bethinking themselves that this woman is youthful and fair, and doubtless was strongly tempted to her fall; - and that, moreover, as is most likely, her husband may be at the bottom of the sea; - they have not been bold to put in force the extremity of our righteous law against her. The penalty thereof is death. But, in their great mercy and tenderness of heart, they have doomed Mistress Prynne to stand only a space of three hours on the platform of the pillory, and then thereafter, for the remainder of her natural life, to wear a mark of shame upon her bosom."Ch. 3

Even though they though that the officials' punishment for Hester was too harsh, they still went along with it because no one dared argue with the court.

In The Scarlet Letter, the townspeople are so loyal to the "Good Reverend Dimmesdale, " that they are completely blinded by the...
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