All Around Allusions
The title says it all. Allusion can be looked at as something called to mind without having to mention it explicitly. No term could better describe the secrets, emotions, and symbols hidden in the Scarlet Letter and The Crucible. All these hidden elements are portrayed through the characters in these works of art. This is the foundation to compare and contrast John Proctor and Arthur Dimmesdale, on fears, truth, and most captivating, sin.
Immediately we can contrast these two characters. Dimmesdale is a minister, devoted to being a man of God and making sure that everybody knows it. Proctor might be a man of God, yet he does not go to church. “And it tells me that a minister may pray to God without he have golden candlesticks upon the altar.” (II.198). Dimmesdale never misses church, especially since he is the one giving the sermons. This leads to a striking similarity, both of them have fear of public opinion. This is portrayed through John Proctor withholding his adultery from the court due to immense pride and fear of public opinion. It is also shown through Dimmesdale, due to his upheld respectable role in society it would never be accepted that he had committed such a sin,“It was found, said the sexton, this morning on the scaffold, where evil-doers are set up to public shame...A pure hand needs no glove to cover it!” (Hawthrone 108).
A compelling similarity between these two characters that thickens the plot is the sin of Adultery. The allusion used to first present Proctor's Adultery is when out of all the Ten Commandments the only one he can not name is the sin of Adultery, “Elizabeth: (delicately) Adultery, John. Proctor: (as though a secret arrow had painted his heart). Aye.” (II.199). An allusion of Dimmesdale's adultery is in the beginning of The Scarlet Letter, “The penalty thereof is death. But, in their (Dimmesdale's) great mercy and tenderness...
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