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Comparison of The Crucible and The Scarlet Letter

             Puritan life has contrasted itself throughout the ages of its existence. The difference in opinion of puritan life being harsh on its followers or not has been debated countless times throughout our history and two books seem to depict this standard of living in two different ways. The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller, conflicts the effects of the conjunction of church and state while The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, conflicts the inability to perfect human nature regardless of any assistance given by a created lifestyle such as Puritanism. Although these conflicts are different in body, they do share likenesses that are visible when recognized. .
             The Crucible shows how the assimilation of church with state government was so dramatic that it became the basis of the Puritan society. This combination advocates the concept that the Puritan society was a community based on complete social and governmental power over its followers. Puritanism was a lifestyle that was completely demanding and dominant in the lives its believers. Those who resisted this control or defied its rule were quickly turned upon. In The Crucible, the people of the town and court feel that in their quest for social perfection there is no room for one individual who may question the methods that are used to acquire social perfection. "A person is either with this court or he must be counted against it, there be no road between."(Act 3) Here Danforth demonstrates the emotion that puritans felt toward insubordination and defiance of Puritan lifestyle. Reverend Parris, one of characters who seek power within all the hysteria that has swept the town, is a prime example of a Puritan. Parris takes this time, now that every one is concerned with his daughter Abigail, to regain control over the townspeople and return their attention back towards the life of Puritanism. Puritan life is one of servitude to a higher calling that is socially and spiritually demanding.

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