An American Tragedy: Comparing "The Crucible" And "The Scarlet Letter"

Two American authors, of two distinctly different time periods had
one very similar task, to turn a piece of American History into a
believable tragedy. Arthur Miller with The Crucible and Nathaniel
Hawthorne with The Scarlet Letter. Perhaps one might wonder which author
did a better job in doing so, but with such different pieces of work, this
is hardly a question that can be answered.

Miller's the Crucible was written in the nineteen-fifties, with a
definite purpose, to remind Americans of the horrible witch trials that
took place in Salem, even before the American Revolution was a thought. It
served as a tool to warn against the same thing happening with the
Communist hearings ...

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in not only
the Scarlet Letter, but also in The Minister's Black Veil. One might even
say that Hawthorne's ancestry (Hathorne) is what he might consider his own
"Pearl", and this is why he changed his name.

Like Miller's the Crucible, The Scarlet Letter takes place in
Puritan Salem and has a tragic hero, but these are the only similarities
between the two great works.

In Miller's play, the tragic hero is John Proctor, a man whose
pride causes the demise of many women, tried as witches. Had Proctor
chosen to reveal his sin of lechery with Abigail Williams before the
problem got out of hand, he would've saved several women from being hanged.
But Proctor, instead chose to keep quiet about it until it was his own
wife's destiny at stake, and then it was too late.

In Hawthorne's novel, The tragic hero is Dimmesdale, who wouldn't
admit to being the father of Pearl. But Dimmesdale's silence, and that of
Hester's lead only to his own demise. Pearl went on to live ...

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An American Tragedy: Comparing "The Crucible" And "The Scarlet Letter". (2005, September 25). Retrieved January 18, 2019, from
"An American Tragedy: Comparing "The Crucible" And "The Scarlet Letter".", 25 Sep. 2005. Web. 18 Jan. 2019. <>
"An American Tragedy: Comparing "The Crucible" And "The Scarlet Letter"." September 25, 2005. Accessed January 18, 2019.
"An American Tragedy: Comparing "The Crucible" And "The Scarlet Letter"." September 25, 2005. Accessed January 18, 2019.
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Added: 9/25/2005 05:44:21 PM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 734
Pages: 3

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