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Compare and contrast Hester Prynne (The scarlet letter) and Elizabeth Proctor (The Crucible).

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Introduction

Hester Prynne was the main character in The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Although Hester Prynne was the main character, the book was not so much a consideration of her expected character as it was an examination of the forces that shaped her and the transformations that forced consequences. Elizabeth Proctor was one of the main characters in The Crucible by Arthur Miller. She shared along with her husband John a similarly strict obedience to justice and moral principles. Hester and Elizabeth both share similar motivations and characteristics but also have different inspirations and uniqueness that make them distinguishing as a person. Hester Prynne is introduced in the beginning of the book as a sinner: one who commits adultery. In the book she became intrigued and began to speculate on human nature, social organizations and larger moral questions. Her tribulations lead her to become impassive and a freethinker. She forgot what people thought about her and called her, and she began to help others by sewing. Elizabeth Proctor is first introduced in the book as a woman who had great confidence in her own morality and in the ability of a person to maintain a sense of righteousness both internal and external, even when this principle conflicts with strict Christian doctrine. ...read more.

Middle

Hester was self-determining to her environment. She wanted to keep peace, never saying too much and never saying too little. She knew her place in society. Elizabeth's Husband had an affair with one of their slaves Abigail Williams, which caused her to have to throw her out of their house. When Elizabeth Proctor's husband tried to tell the courts that the witch trials were all a hoax, he admitted that he had an affair with Abigail. If his wife would testify that he did have an affair, then the testimony would be proof that the witch trials were all a hoax. When Elizabeth was brought into court they asked her why she threw Abigail William out of the house. She lied and said because she was not pleased. The only reason why she lied was because she knew during this time a woman should keep her place. Usually if a woman told her husbands business it brought reproving to his character and the whole family. So if she told the truth about the relationship it wouldn't just signify a cast down of her husband but a demoralizing of the whole family. ...read more.

Conclusion

She was definitely faithful to her husband's ideals and morals, never telling a soul what he did. Both characters Hester of The Scarlet Letter and Elizabeth of The Crucible had many things in common including their loyalty towards others and their motivations to better themselves in their environments. The organization of both books went from lighthearted to determination and finally to fulfillment and achievements. In the beginning of both books the environment was lighthearted. In The Scarlet Letter, they were scorning Hester for being adulterous. In The Crucible the town blamed everyone about being a witch. They pick up anyone who was mentioned in court. Then both books moved to determination. Hester began to want to better herself in society, so she started helping others by sewing. Elizabeth's determination was shown when she was condemned as a witch. In that scene everyone was yelling but she stayed calm and she quieted everyone down. She knew she was not a witch so she was determined that she was not going to be killed. Then the organization turned into fulfillment and achievement. Hester was then accepted in society again and many realized that sins should not be damned upon. Elizabeth did not die because she was pregnant. She achieved her determination not to die. ...read more.

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