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Compare And Contrast Between John Proctor, Abigail Williams, Hester Prynne And Arthur Dimmesdale, Of Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter And Arthur Miller's The Crucible.

1916 words - 8 pages

John Proctor of Arthur Miller's The Crucible, is a highly respected man in Salem. "In Proctor's presence a fool felt his foolisheness instantly....Proctor respected and even feared in Salem", the narrator adds (Miller 20). He was a powerful man who disliked hipocrites and the presence of sin. Before the play begins,John Proctor has an affair with Abigail Williams, a previous house servant of his, these actions contradicted his very own beliefs. The narrator comments, "He is a sinner..against his own vision of decent conduct" (Miller 20). Like John Proctor, Arthur Dimmesdale of Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter is also respected by his peers and followers. He is decribed by the narrator like so,"Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale young clergyman, who had come from one of the great English universities, bringing all the learning of the age into our wild forest land. His eloquence and religious fervour had already given the earnest of high eminence in his profession. He was a person of very striking aspect, with a white, lofty, and impending brow; large,brown, melancholy eyes, and a mouth which, unless when he forcibly compressed it, was apt to be tremulous, expressing both nervous sensibility and a vast power of self restraint. Notwithstanding his high native gifts and scholar-like attainments, there was an air about this young minister an apprehensive, a startled, a half-frightened look as of a being who felt himself quite astray, and at a loss in the pathway of human existence, and could only be at ease in some seclusion of his own. Therefore, so far as his duties would permit, he trod in the shadowy by-paths, and thus kept himself simple and childlike, coming forth, when occasion was, with a freshness, and fragrance, and dewy purity of thought which, as many people said, affected them like tile speech of an angel.(Hawthorne 46)This passage shows the admiration the towns people have for him. He is portrayed as a humble, god fearing man, "The magistrates are God-fearing gentlemen", commented the third autumnal matron (Hawthorne 36), that would never do anything to displease those around him. Unfortunetly, he has also played parts in adultery, as well as leaving Hester Prynne, his partner in this sin, with his illegitimate child. In Salem, during this time period,adultery was viewed extreme, with punishments resulting in being branded, serving prison time, or ultimately death."What do we talk of marks and brands, whether on the bodice of her gown or the flesh of her forehead?..This woman has brought shame upon us all, and ought to die.." Cried a townswoman.(Hawthorne 36) Contrary to the townspeoples beliefs throughtout each work, their strong puritan men whom they felt so fondly of, have become part of actions that are displeasing in the eyes ofgod.Although Hester Prynne of The Crucible did not commit adultery alone, she did have to face the harsh treatments of her society alone. Not only did she have to wear the sin on her chest but, Hester spent many...

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