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The Scarlet Letter Compared to The Crucible Essay


The Scarlet Letter & The Crucible

Everyone makes mistakes, its the way we handle those mistakes that determines how well we redeem ourselves. Hester Prynne, John Procter, and Abigail Williams all committed horrible sins within their puritan societies, but they did not all achieve the redemption they were looking for.

Hester Prynne committed adultery, which nowadays is known as cheating, and within her 1600s puritan society was a huge sin. As her punishment she had to stand in front of the whole town for three hours, with a scarlet letter A on her chest. After the punishment Hester could have taken off the A, or ran away from the town, but she didnt, she kept wearing it in front of the whole town and used it as her redemption. It showed that she was not ashamed of who she was and she knows that everyone makes mistakes. After many weeks of being rejected and alienated, her persistence of standing up for who she was paid off and the town started to accept her more and more. The outlook of the scarlet A changed from adultery to Able. She achieved redemption and was accepted for who she was. The puritan society first responded in very negative ways towards her sins. Then, through Hesters determination of proving to them that she was proud of who she was and there was nothing wrong with her, the society started to open up to Hester, realize she was just like anyone of them, and the finally accepted her.

John Procter and Abigail Williams sin was the same adulterous sin as Hesters in The Scarlet Letter. Both sins of adultery, both in a puritan society, but the outcome of redemption turned out very different. In The Crucible the strive for redemption was more between John and Abigail, not John and the town, or Abigail and the town. John Procter, a married man, committed adultery with Abigail Williams, a young woman. Abigail Lusted for John and wanted him all to herself, but John had a family and a wife who he loved very much. So Abigail comes up with this stupendous lie that Goodie Procters, Johns Wifes, soul was possessed by the devil and was terrorizing Abigail and her fellow girl friends. This was Abigails attempt towards John. She thought that if she got the reverend to banish Goodie Procter for being one with the devil, that Abigail could have John all to herself. By the end of this work she ends up not achieving the redemption she wanted from John, she goes absolutely over board with the satanic outbreaks toward Goodie Procter, and finally ends up finally running away because she knows she will never feel Johns love again. Just because Abigail was gone does not mean that John achieved redemption either. Actually it ended up, he confessed his adulterous sin to the reverend to try and prove Abigail was lying, he admitted to being one with the devil just to give the town what they wanted to hear, when indeed that was a lie. For being one with the devil, he was given the choice of having his name in the middle of the town forever showing that he lived a sinful life, or death. John Procter chose death, for he did not want his sons to grow up having only to show of their father as a sinful man. So no, John Procter did not achieve redemption. Although he did pay the ultimate sacrifice to keep his sons names white in that very critical puritan town.

The puritan societies responded to each characters plight a little differently. Hester was first rejected horribly, then through Hesters perseverance she was greatly accepted and once again part of the town. Johns plight on the other hand, was the opposite from Hesters. First, he was looked at as a great noble man, then after admitting to his sins and lying to the town about his beliefs, he was hated, greatly despised, and ultimately sentenced to death. Last but not least, Abigail. With Abigail not reaching redemption, it is kind of hard to understand her plight. The towns people started to think she was going crazy in her head, then they questioned if she was really telling the truth about everything, and voila she runs away and disappears forever.

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