The Scarlet Letter and The Crucible

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Huston 1

Zakary Huston
Mr. Montalbano
AP English Language and Composition
11 August 2014
The Scarlet Crucible

Both Arthur Miller’s
The Crucible and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s
The Scarlet Letter include

instance of settlers of the New England colonies being affected by Puritan law. Their commentary on Puritan society is spread throughout their works. Their views on the laws set forth by Puritanism are easily found within their stories about the various occurrences in a theocracy. Through their writing, we can understand Hawthorne’s and Miller’s ideas about several aspects of Puritan society, such as the community’s treatment of outsiders, Puritanical views about sin and forgiveness, and hypocrisy in that society.

Both of the author’s works of literature describe many characters who, based on the

beliefs of Puritan society, are considered outsiders. These outcasts, while important to the narrative told by the author, live on the fringes of their communities and rarely speak with their fellow townspeople. Such outcasts include John Proctor from
The Crucible and Hester Prynne from
The Scarlet Letter
. They are viewed as outsiders in their respective communities because of how set apart they are from the rest of their communities, although this happens for very different reasons. The main character of
The Scarlet Letter
, Hester Prynne, was ostracized by the people for her sins and confined to isolation on the outskirts of town. Proctor, however, despises attending church due to a dislike for the minister. Because the church is such a significant feature of Puritan life, he is viewed as an outcast. Through the dramatic irony of Proctor’s death in
The

Huston 2

Crucible
, we can deduce Miller’s negative opinions on the harsh hospitality towards outsiders in
Puritan society. Because we know that Proctor is innocent, we can firsthand see the injustice committed by the people. For the sole reason of his absence from

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