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"The Scarlet Letter" compared to "The Crucible"

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Selena Filice

on 15 January 2015

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Transcript of "The Scarlet Letter" compared to "The Crucible"

John Proctor has an affair with Abigail Williams and his wife, Elizabeth, finds out and fires Abigail as their maid. Abigail wants revenge on Elizabeth so she accuses her of being a witch while hoping she wins John for herself.
Effects of sin on man

Similarities in Setting
mid 1700s to early 1800s
Salem and Boston were colonized by Puritans
both share similar themes
"The Scarlet Letter" compared to "The Crucible"
The Scarlet Letter Summary
Hester Prynne cheats on her husband, Roger Chillingworth, with the town minister, Arthur Dimmesdale, and Hester has Pearl as a result of their actions. Roger tries to get revenge on Dimmesdale.

Arthur compared to John
The Crucible Summary
The Crucible:
John confesses and realizes he still has good within him and isn't afraid to be hung as a witch.

Abigail does not confess and she points her finger at everyone else and tries to get revenge on Elizabeth.

The Scarlet Letter:
Dimmesdale confesses and dies a happy man in front of the town.

Chillingworth spends what he has left of his life trying to get revenge on Arthur and is as bad a sinner as the others.

Hester learns to cope with her sin once it's out and later on becomes known to the town as "able".

both had relationships involving sin
both confessed near the end
both died after the confessing their sins
Symbol: when John signs the confession pages and tears them up.
Meaning: hes breaking free and chooses not to be treated as an outcast and not giving up his life.

The Scarlet Letter:
Symbol: the scarlet "A" embroided on Hester's gown.
Meaning: it reminds everyone that she is an adulturer and her life is used as an example to others. Later on, people refer to the "A" as meaning "able".
Irony in both stories
In The Crucible... John realized he still has good within him, he had to die for a crime he didn't commit. But, if he hadn't agreed to signing the confession papers, he never would have realized he was capable of more than sin.

In The Scarlet Letter... Dimmesdale is the town minister. He's the one everyone looks up to yet he isn't brave enough to admit to his sin.

unlike John, Arthur loved Hester and John did not love Abigail
John didn't die because of his affair
Both stories share many similarities such as, setting, theme, characterization, and irony but they have their differences and both are successful novels that leave different impressions on the reader.
Full transcript