Sin is an act, which has been committed by individuals since the time Adam and Eve committed man's first sin by eating a piece of fruit from the Garden of Eden. In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne and The Crucible by Arthur Miller portray characters committing sins throughout the novel. More importantly both novels incorporate the theme of sin as adultery throughout the sequence of the story. John Proctor, a farmer in The Crucible, and Arthur Dimmesdale, a minister in The Scarlet Letter, both have similar experiences with adultery, but Proctor seems to approach his sin in a more honorable manner than Dimmesdale. .
John Proctor demonstrates his strength of character throughout the novel by how he reacts to the problems that he is momentarily facing. Proctor commits adultery with his servant at the time Abigail Williams and has to deal with the consequences of his sin. He handles his situation with ease, firing her and informing his wife, Elizabeth about what he had done. Unfortunately, the decision that Proctor made to commit adultery came back to haunt him. As a result of adultery Proctor becomes involved in the witch trials. In an attempt to rid Proctor of Elizabeth and in an attempt to someday fulfill the role of his wife Abigail accuses Elizabeth of witchcraft. During the witch trials Proctor demonstrates leadership qualities by standing up for his beliefs by condemning the government and the church. He says, "God is dead" (Miller 119). Here he is not necessarily saying that God himself is dead, but in fact that religion is no longer about God but rather focused on rituals and the well0being of the church. When Proctor is later accused of witchcraft, his first instinct is to lie agreeing to his charges. This false confession would save his life, but after talking to his wife about his decision he quickly changes his mind and does what is right. Proctor chooses his integrity over his life; therefore he dies with honor, denying the accusation of witchcraft.