Through Mr. Putnam’s lust for land and desire for revenge, Reverend Parris’s obsession over self-image, and Abigail’s jealously of Elizabeth and love for Proctor, The Crucible supports Clurman’s claim of Salem being a society driven by people with characteristics of greed and revenge rather than principle.1 Mr. Putnam’s motives of attempting to prove the existence of witches in Salem are driven by anger towards specific citizens and land lust, both attributes of revenge and greed. When Putnam is first mentioned in the play, Miller uses expository commentary to explain Putnam’s character. In this expository commentary, Miller states: “[Putnam] undoubtedly felt it poor payment that the village should so blatantly disregard his candidate for one of its more important offices, especially since he regarded himself as the intellectual superior of most of the people around him” (14). As a result of losing when running for a position in parish affairs, Putnam shows his original a... ... middle of paper ... ...of witches is driven by land lust and revenge towards the city that shunned him the opportunity to be involved in parish affairs or his brother-in-law being the minister. Reverend Parris’s motive behind his decisions made throughout the witchcraft process is whatever he needs to do to prevent his image from being tarnished.
Some believe that he projected the entire experience as a way for his Id portion of his psyche to manifest itself and to quench his sinful and guilt ridden desires. Goodman Brown portrays the Devil as a figure that closely resembles Brown himself, “and bearing a considerable resemblance to him, though perhaps more in expression than features. Still, they might have been taken for father and son” (Hawthorne pg#). Brown is so guilt ridden that he starts to project his anxieties and evils on the people around him. Psychoanalytic critics assert that the horrors of Brown 's dream and his criticism of others stem from the projection of Brown 's subconscious guilt onto those around his immediate vicinity and the village in which he lives.
Hawthorne devotes a significant portion of the novel fixated on the brashness of the Bostonian people and the negative connotations aimed toward Hester. The attitudes of the odious townspeople reve... ... middle of paper ... ...ht of all as he watches his humanity unraveled before him being sucked further and further into darkness of the soul and overcome by evil. These three examples of agonizing estrangement are experienced in variance per each character and depicted uniquely by Hawthorne throughout his best-selling novel, yet it’s important to note they all have analogous culminations. I believe Hawthorne was attempting to call to attention the major fallacies of the Puritanical system he was raised in because he perceived the dangers inherent and devastating potentials presented when hypocritical, grace-lacking philosophies take societal roots in the lives and souls of people. This is one of many crucial takeaways Hawthorne proposed to impart to his audience through this legendary work of art.
In Askew’s article, he provides a summation with an insightful statement of Hawthorne’s intention, “…the profound, psychological complex of experience and knowledge that leads to maturity of mind and heart” (Askew). The historical and religious framework must be considered when analyzing Hawthorne’s works. The theme of The Scarlet Letter exemplifies allegorical purpose. The protagonist, Hester, is faced with external shame which ultimately leads to her freedom. In contrast, Dimmesdale’s hidden guilt leads to his demise.
In this way, Hawthorne establishes a dichotomy between lack of color and color in order to show concealment as the greatest sin. The Puritan world is the setting. In their isolated world, the Puritans share the belief that acts such as adultery are the greatest sins. The revolutionary writer, Hawthorne, penetrates this world to expose Puritan hypocrisy and, through Hester, Dimmesdale, and Pearl, shows that concealment is the greater sin. Through them, Hawthorne teaches the lesson that concealed guilt will gradually drain its bearer of all strength and power, whereas honesty will have an empowering effect.
In this essay I will be arguing that, the power of guilt prevents people from moving on from obstacles that hold them in the past. McEwan embodies the guilt illustrated throughout the novel with the element of symbolic references: “how guilt refined the methods of self-torture, threading the beads of detail into an eternal loop, a rosary to be fingered for a lifetime” (162). The literature critic, Brain Finney expresses McEwan’s “fascination with evil or illicit behavior [that]…‘projected [a] sense of evil in [his] stories…one tires to imagine the worst thing possible in order to get hold of the good’” (69). McEwan makes the reference to a rosary, which is a religious symbol that corresponds to the novel’s title, suggesting Briony may not only carry her guilt forever, but that there ... ... middle of paper ... ...he theme of guilt that builds within Briony character and writing. The structure of limitations provided by McEwan’s highlights the emotions of Briony herself.
The problem of evil paradoxically separates and unites both authors. Emerson looked inward and Melville pushed outward, each searching, each trying to effect change. The problem of evil remains ever-present, driving both men to reinvest in understanding the interconnectedness, the interdependency of human relations. Though "Melville alternately praised and damned 'this Plato who talks thro' his nose' ", Emerson's influence direct or indirect helped to shape Melville's ideology and thus his fiction (Sealts 82). Both authors acknowledge human pain and suffering, Corruption and vice.
Likewise, in his play The Crucible, the great modern playwright, Arthur Miller, penned the character of John Proctor to allegorize the dangers of moral passivity. Their guilt and repentance were the primary causes of their “undoing”. Dimmesdale and Proctor were both martyrs to their sin. More specifically, they were both martyrs to the sin of adultery. Being a man of the cloth, this was especially painful for Dimmesdale.
One element of Young Goodman Brown is a criticism of Puritan self-righteousness; the devil points out to Brown that he has “a very general acquaintance here in New England” and then proceeds to cite instances of hypocrisy, prejudice, and persecution (Hawthorne 5). The devil also reveals that he is familiar with Brown’s ancestors, leading them toward sin (Hawthorne 5). All of this is disturbing to Brown and the issue of evil is f... ... middle of paper ... ... Dead.”), Hawthorne’s story provides the atmosphere in which such paranoia and delusion could take place. As Alan Simpson states, “The Puritan was always obsessed by his sense of sin. Taught to expect it everywhere, and to magnify it where he found it, he easily fell into the habit of inventing it” (Simpson).
Struggle between Good and Evil in The Scarlet Letter and Macbeth It is said that “all conflict in literature is, in its simplest form, a struggle between good and evil.” Indeed, the fundamental conflict of human nature is that of darkness and light; and as a mirror to life, the conflicts in literature is not different from those in human nature. The struggle of good and evil is shown in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, which portrays the spiritual battle between and evil man and a sinned minister, as well as the minister’s internal turmoil. William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, similarly describes a man’s moral decay and the vengeance of the wronged good people. Both authors use various literary elements and techniques such as symbolism, metaphor, theme, and characterization to illustrate the struggle between good and evil in their works. The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is a story of damnation and redemption.