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Accepting Adultery Essay

1379 words - 6 pages

In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, adultery is shown to be acceptable. Adultery is when one spouse cheats in a secluded fashion. After committing a severe sin, the adulteress or adulterer are punished and publicly humiliated. The characters in each book unquestionably display that infidelity is an approved act. Life is like a pen is an excellent analogy to prove such a bold statement. To understand the role of adultery being acceptable this essay aims to provide a discussion of being loyal, loving, and especially forgiving.
One aspect which illustrates adultery being acceptable can be identified as loyalty. Loyalty is presented between the characters in each book. In The Crucible Proctor is exceptionally loyal to Elizabeth, his wife. The reason Proctor is loyal to Elizabeth is because he goes to appeal Elizabeth during court. Proctor states, “I have known her,sir. I have known her”(Miller 49). Proctor makes this exclamation about committing lechery with Abigail. The fact Proctor admits to being an adulterer is greatly proving how loyal he actually is to Elizabeth. Proctor goes from defending Elizabeth to admitting he had pledged lechery. Proctor decides his good name is not as important as saving Elizabeth’s life. Also Proctor could have just forgotten all about Elizabeth and went to be by Abigail’s side, but he calls Abigail out on her crime instead. Knowing the odds were against him, Proctor still shamed himself in front of important townspeople of Salem, Massachusetts in hopes of saving Elizabeth. True loyalty found between Proctor and Elizabeth is most definitely seen upon reading the book and proves adultery can be perfectly acceptable in time. Loyalty is also shown between Hester and Dimmesdale in The Scarlet Letter. In the book Hester displays her loyalty to Dimmesdale by keeping the secret of him being Pearl’s father. There was never a point in the book when Hester ever let Dimmesdale’s name slide off the tip of her tongue. This shows Hester’s loyalty because she could have just taken Dimmesdale down with her, but Hester decided it was better if Dimmesdale’s name was left out of the situation. The fact Hester was able to keep such a humongous secret proves just how loyal she was to Dimmesdale. Hester waited and waited for seven years until Dimmesdale was completely ready to let the townspeople of Boston, Massachusetts know Pearl was in fact his daughter. Also Hester never once revealed to Chillingworth the identity of her partner in crime. Yes, Chillingworth eventually put two and two together, but he had absolutely no help from Hester in solving the sinful mystery. The townspeople could give Hester any form of punishment and she would still keep Dimmesdale’s secret. In all actuality Hester should have never been punished for loving Dimmesdale because she did not love Chillingworth or wanted to be his wife from the beginning. All Chillingworth ever did was to make Hester’s life miserable. The...

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