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The Scarlet Letter and The Crucible

            Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter and Arthur Miller's The Crucible are both distinctly different works about the Puritan society. The Scarlet Letter is a novel and The Crucible is a play. While The Scarlet Letter deals mainly with the sin of adultery, The Crucible deals mainly with false accusations of witchcraft. Both have obvious similarities like the setting and the crime, however, one of the greateset similarities between the two is the loyalty of the Puritan people to their appointed officials, the public supported them greatly, because in their theocratic society, the eyes of the officials were those of God.
             In the Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne's punishment was assigned to her by a highly prestigious panel of men from the churches and courts of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. All of the townspeople came to see Hester's punishment because of their loyalty to the court. They came to see what was going on with the court because this is what they held in highest regard. "Now good Sir, our Massachusetts magistracy, bethinking themselves that this woman is youthful and fair, and doubtless was strongly tempted to her fall; -and that, moreover, as is most likely, her husband may be at the bottom of the sea; -they have not been bold to put in force the extremity of our righteous law against her. The penalty if thereof death. But, in their great mercy and tenderness of heart, they have doomed Mistress Prynne to stand only a space for three hours on the platform of the pillory, and then thereafter, for the remainder of her natural life, to wear a mark of shame upon her bosom." (Hawthorne, 86). Even though many may have thought that the officials' punishment for Hester was too harsh, they still went along with it because no one dared argue with the court. In The Scarlet Letter, the townspeople are so loyal to the "Good Reverend Dimmesdale," that they are completely blind to the fact that he is the biggest sinner.

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