Confession And Acceptance Of The Crucible By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Many people underestimate the powerful affliction that is guilt. People think that if they simply turn their back on what they have done and to the feelings of remorse over the wrongdoing, these feelings will eventually subside. However, this is not the case, as the moment one turns his or her back on feelings of guilt is the exact moment it sneaks up behind that person and eats him or her alive. In 1850, Nathaniel Hawthorne published The Scarlet Letter, which tells the story of two people who commit adultery and the aftermath of their crime. Almost exactly one hundred years later, Arthur Miller published the play The Crucible, also set in Puritan society, which tells the story of the 1692 Salem Witch Trials. Though written years apart,…show more content…
Though their crime of adultery was mutual, Hester’s pregnancy forced her sin into the spotlight, and in Puritan society, the sin of having an illegitimate child was one of the worst a woman could commit. As punishment for her crime, Hester Prynne is forced to wear a scarlet letter “A” upon her chest as a sign of her wrongdoing. Because of this, Hester was forced to acknowledge what she has done and accept the repercussions of her crime, which ultimately makes her a stronger person and supports Hawthorne’s claim that it is “better for the sufferer to be free to show his pain” (Hawthorne 76). Hawthorne reveals Hester’s acceptance of her crime and her guilt the moment she walks out of the prison with her daughter in her arms, explaining that, “In a moment, however, wisely judging that one token of shame would but poorly serve to hide another, she took the baby on her arm, and with a burning blush, and yet a haughty smile, and a glance that would not be abashed, looked around at her townspeople and neighbors” (Hawthorne 31). Because of her crime, many people expect Hester to tremble with fear upon being revealed to the town, but instead she holds her head high and embraces the punishment for her sin. This in turn allows Hester to appear stronger, more beautiful, and more dignified, and choosing to portray Hester in this way shows Hawthorne’s belief that it is better to confess one’s sin and live with it rather than deal with the
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