Compare and Contrast: The Scarlet Letter & The Crucible The two main characters; Hester Prynne and Abigail Williams of The Scarlet Letter and The Crucible, respectively, are very similar in the ways they both commit sin in their societies. However, there are differences between the two. Both women committed the sin of adultery but that was Hester’s single sin, Abigail had sin of lust, envy, wrath, and greed none of which are comparable to Hester’s.
Hester protected the man she loved and took her blame to make sure his name in the town did not go rotten, while Abigail dragged her own friends into the web of lies she created and but not only her own name under the name of witchcraft but also the ones she loved and loved her.
Hester was repentant of her sin by wearing her scarlet letter but Abigail went to no end to attempt to clear her name of the unwholesome crime she had carried out.
Abigail’s reluctance to admit to what she did made it all the harder for the people of her town to find forgiveness in her. Guilt, it consumes both souls of Arthur Dimmesdale and John Proctor from The Scarlet Letter and The Crucible, respectively. It weighs them down and keeps dragging them into the darkness of their own mind until they have nothing left. Dimmesdale and Proctor were both sufferers of their sin of adultery; Dimmesdale’s internal suffering however was unlike Proctor’s vengeance.
Abigail used witchcraft to make rid of Proctor’s wife, Elizabeth, Abigail being Proctor’s “secret lover” she was envious of his wife.
After the guilt of committing such a sin and the will to be faithful to his wife, the guilt started to weigh Proctor down just as it had to Dimmesdale. Both the guilt of Dimmesdale and Proctor was symbolic; this was the price they had to pay for their sin. They had to be beaten down by their own guild internally to see the realization of what they have done.
Dimmesdale always loved Hester and he would have ran away with her if it wasn’t for his unhopeful outlook on his life. The fate of Dimmesdale and Proctor differed in the ways of what they wanted to do with their life after the women so desperately wanted to hide away. Proctor denied Abigail from the start, telling her that he only wanted to continue his life farming with his wife. Both Dimmesdale and Proctor dealt with guild as their punishment but their differences on what they wanted for themselves showed who was strong and who was weak.