These two novels, The Crucible and The Scarlet Letter both take place in 17th-century America. However, their plots are very different. Comparing the main characters to one another would be like comparing apples to oranges because they were written by different authors for completely different purposes. However, there are some similarities between the stories that any reader can see. These two pieces of literature can be compared in similar ways, but there is no need to compare them directly because they are so different.
They were written by different people for different purposes and audiences so to say one is better than the other would be an insult. To truly appreciate The Crucible, readers must take it as its own piece of work. The Scarlet Letter, on the other hand, is more universal and can be compared to other works. The Crucible is a novel about the witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts. It was written by Arthur Miller as an allegory of McCarthyism at the time. It displays themes such as religious fanaticism, hysteria, false accusations, truthfulness under pressure and group dynamics; all common elements of witch hunts throughout history (CliffsNotes).
The Scarlet Letter is also an allegorical tale that explores human nature through its characters’ reactions to judgment based on their own sinful actions (BookRags). Though the plots are different, both novels explore similar ideas of good versus evil and sin against God; but they do it through different means. The Crucible takes place in the Puritan society of Salem, Massachusetts in 1690s America. The Scarlet Letter is also set in Puritan America and its themes revolve around sinning against God and one’s society.
However, The Crucible deals with false accusations while The Scarlet Letter deals with true ones. Ultimately, the comparison of these two works would be redundant because they are so different from each other. However, there are some elements that overlap between them that readers can understand after examining both pieces of literature more closely (novel-study-help). One similarity between The Crucible and The Scarlet Letter is Arthur Miller’s usage of real people from history as characters in his work.
In fact, many Puritan names in The Crucible are the real names of people who were at Salem during the witch trials (Novel-Study-Help). For example, John Proctor is one of the most well-known names associated with the Salem Witch Trials. He was accused of witchcraft and was sentenced to hang (Wikipedia), but he escaped by pleading guilty to adultery with Abigail Williams (Arthur Miller 18). Another similarity between The Scarlet Letter and The Crucible is Arthur Miller’s usage of allegory in his work; this technique helps him explore human nature through sinning against God.
Lastly, both novels share a common theme about good versus evil. However, while The Scarlet Letter explores how pious its characters are compared to their sins, The Crucible focuses more on what people do in the name of piety and justice (Novel-Study-Help). As previously stated, these two novels share several important themes and characteristics that they use to convey their messages. However, they are so different from each other that it is difficult to compare them directly or even indirectly.
As a writer, Arthur Miller used The Crucible as his own allegory about McCarthyism while Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter as an exploration of sinning against God’s will. It is nearly impossible to find any comparisons, similarities or differences between these two works because there are no parallels that can be drawn between them. To truly appreciate both of these pieces of literature, readers must take each one for its own merit without comparing it to similar work. Therefore, this article is useless to anyone trying to understand or appreciate The Crucible and The Scarlet Letter.
It does not provide any knowledge that can be applied directly to either of the two novels. In fact, it only serves as a brief summarization of what readers already know about both pieces of literature without providing new insights or information. While it is possible for readers to find similarities between The Crucible and The Scarlet Letter, there are certain aspects that make each novel more unique than similar. Ultimately, one has to take these works at face value rather than going deeper into their meaning by comparing them with other works.
The Crucible and The Scarlet Letter are two extremely similar pieces of literature, but also two very different stories. Both are about the Salem Witch Trials, but whereas The Scarlet Letter focuses on Hester Prynne’s guilt and the huge impact that the pain of it has on her life, The Crucible reveals to us a much larger picture including many characters’ perspectives. Because there are so many characters in The Crucible , it is hard to develop each character as well as Arthur Miller could have if he only had one protagonist.
Nonetheless, both books bring up great points concerning society and what its standards were at the time they were written. “If you hang me you’ll save yourself a deal trouble” (Miller 85), said by Tituba, is an example of the standard of women at the time. The women who were accused were seen as “evil creatures driven by unspeakable desires” (Leap 2). When Tituba first shows up on stage, Reverend Parris shouts at her, calling her a witch and blaming her for his daughter’s sudden illness.
Tituba only defends herself with these words: “I’m no more a witch than you are a wizard; and if you take away my life God will give you blood to drink! ” (Miller 9) These words can be interpreted in multiple ways. They could show Tituba’s attempt to fight back against society throwing false accusations of witchcraft at her, or it could simply be Tituba feeling guilty because she is not able to save the village people from their impending death.
Either way, she knows that by speaking out against society she is putting her life in danger. This statement could be seen as an act of rebellion, but at the same time it’s just Tituba’s attempt to protect herself and avoid punishment. The Scarlet Letter also demonstrates men’s views on women through Mr. Chillingworth, who is Hester Prynne’s husband in the book. He argues with Dimmesdale about his guilt, saying that Dimmesdale should confess because he would feel much better afterwards (Hawthorne 114).