The main characters of these two novels are the sinners who receive the harshest penalties of the Puritan system because they are both proud of what they are going through. In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne "has to wear the mark of shame upon her bosom" (Hawthorne 59), the letter "A", symbolizing her sin of adultery. Hester choses this punishment over the option of revealing the fellow perpetrator, which shows the pride in what she has done. However, besides her actions with this sin, Hester is a person who follows the Puritan religion very closely and has rarely sinned during her life. She is much more righteous a person than many others in her community. Yet, that one sin makes her look horrible in the eyes of the townspeople. The main character of The Crucible, John Proctor, suffers an even harsher penalty f...
... middle of paper ...
...he sinner is not punished, he or she has still committed a bad deed.
It is easy to see that almost every major character in these two novels has sinned, yet not everyone is punished for it. Among those who suffer the consequences of their actions are the people most proud of them, Hester Prynne and John Proctor. This common trait shows that if these people had not been so proud, they perhaps could have escaped their punishments, as Abigail did. This shows a weakness in the Puritan system of law, where many of the guilty go unpunished. It seems that it would not be difficult to be an impure Puritan.
Edwards, Jonathan. A Young Puritan's Code.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter. New York: Bantam Books, 1850.
Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. New York: Penguin, 1952.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Use of Symbols in The Scarlet Letter In many stories, symbols included by the author add deeper meaning. Nathaniel Hawthorne is one author who mastered the skill of using symbols effectively. The Scarlet Letter is regarded as a "symbolic masterpiece" due to Hawthorne's exceptional use of the scarlet letter, the setting, and Pearl as symbols. One of the main symbols of the novel is the basis for the title of the novel itself. Hester Prynne's scarlet letter is attached to her dress, and appears "in fine red cloth surrounded with an elaborate embroidery with fantastic flourishes of gold thread" (Hawthorne 60). The letter is said to have "the effect of a spell, taking h... [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]
1224 words (3.5 pages)
- In his novel The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne traces the life of a young woman named Hester Prynne after she receives the shameful punishment of wearing a scarlet letter “A” on her chest. Throughout the novel, the forest outside the Puritan town serves a place for the characters to reveal their true selves away from the stringent Puritan lifestyle. The forest represents contradictory themes, creating a sanctuary for love and freedom, but also cultivating darkness and evil. Not only does the seclusion of the forest from society provide freedom to those who choose to perform evil deeds, but also protection to those searching for clarity and happiness.... [tags: Literary Analysis, Hawthorne]
590 words (1.7 pages)
- The Scarlet Letter illustrates that the illumination of self-deception gapes open after one like the very jaws of hell. This is apparent through all the main characters of the novel. Although Hawthorne's work has several imperfect people as the main characters, including Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth, the worst sinner is Roger Chillingworth. Chillingworth commits the greater sin because of his failure to forgive; he has an insatiable appetite for revenge; he receives extreme pleasure in torturing Dimmesdale.... [tags: American Literature]
982 words (2.8 pages)
- In the mid-nineteenth century, particularly in the American colonies, a new philosophical movement known as Transcendentalism flourished. A number of famous writers of the period, including poet Ralph Waldo Emerson and, of course, Nathaniel Hawthorne, were believers in the emerging faith. They eschewed mainstream religion, perhaps as a natural reflexive motion repelling the overbearing efforts of the Calvinists and Puritans who arrived in the colonies in the two preceding centuries, and instead embraced the natural world and looked primarily to it for guidance.... [tags: Mainstream Religion, Self Reliance]
1046 words (3 pages)
- The Scarlet Letter can easily be seen as an early feminist piece of work. Nathaniel Hawthorne created a story that exemplifies Hester as a strong female character living with her choices, whether they were good or bad, and also as the protagonist. He also presents the daughter of Hester, Pearl, as an intelligent female, especially for her age. He goes on to prove man as imperfect through both the characters of Dimmesdale and of Chillingworth. With the situation that all the characters face, Hawthorne establishes the female as the triumphant one, accomplishing something that, during Nathaniel Hawthorne’s time, authors did not attempt.... [tags: essays research papers]
1795 words (5.1 pages)
- The Scarlet Letter presents duality amongst all of the characters. Hugo Mcpherson stated, “Hawthorne’s rejection of the Calvinist view of human nature, however, does not lead him to espouse the cause of man’s “natural goodness,” the Transcendental view. For him there is an ideal, perfect realm, and an imperfect, human realm. Human nature is inevitably imperfect. But the fatal error of the Puritans is their failure to recognize all of man’s gifts – to achieve an integration of all of man’s forces.... [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne]
1165 words (3.3 pages)
- Last Glimpse of Characters In The Scarlet Letter Hawthorne uses this idea of last glimpse of main characters to broadcast the serious ideas of his novel. Similar to how the “first” actions of the characters gives the main plot of the text the last glimpse of the characters shows the serious ideas of a text. The main last glimpse of characters would be the disappearance of pearl and the death of Dimmesdale and Chillingworth at the end of the book. In the scarlet letter Pearl is the product of the adultery between the Dimmesdale and Hester.... [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne]
1134 words (3.2 pages)
- The Character of Chillingworth in The Scarlet Letter Old Mr. Prynne began his new life in the town of Boston as the Physician Roger Chillingworth. The moment he arrived, the town deemed him intelligent and mild mannered; he always seemed pleasant although a little odd. Throughout the seven years he remained in Boston, his character changed so dramatically from admirable to evil that even those who did not know him personally seemed to notice an evil nature deep within his soul trying to break free.... [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]
1055 words (3 pages)
- Use of Romanticism in Development of Characters in The Scarlet Letter In Hawthorne's revered novel The Scarlet Letter, the use of Romanticism plays an important role in the development of his characters. He effectively demonstrates individualism in Hester to further our understanding of the difficulties of living in the stern, joyless world of Puritan New England. It is all gloom and doom. If the sun ever shines, one could hardly notice. The entire place seems to be shrouded in black. The people of this society were stern, and repressed natural human impulses and emotions than any society before or since. But for this reason specifically, emotions began bubbling and ev... [tags: Scarlet Letter Hawthorne essays]
2104 words (6 pages)
- The Scarlet Letter: Pearl Children are incredibly sensitive and can sense almost any emotion of an adult by observing body language and facial expressions. Such is the case with the youthful Pearl from the novel The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. As the daughter of the adulteress Hester Prynne, the townspeople view Pearl as a demon in an angel’s clothing; who not only knows exactly what the letter "A" signifies on the bosom of her mother, but as the demon who placed it there, as well.... [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]
981 words (2.8 pages)
- Growth of Sammy in John Updike's A&P
- Analysis of Scenes 4-5 of The Glass Menagerie
- Comparing Felicite of Flaubert's A Simple Heart and Nelly Dean of Bronte's Wuthering Heights
- Failure of the Capitalist Ideal in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
- Katherine Anne Porter's Rope
- The Charater of Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire