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”The Scarlet Letter” And ”The Crucible” Characterization

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When comparing and contrasting two works of literature, there seems to be characters that seem to embody what the other is about, personality wise. Yet, characters also have some things which distinguishes them in an individual manner, therefore making them unique. In The Crucible by Arthur Miller and The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Abigail Williams and Roger Chillingworth fit that criteria.

Each character is driven by a force, a motivation which helps them execute their dastardly plans: Revenge. Abigail is consummated by damning Elizabeth Proctor. With her out of the way, she thinks she can regain John Proctor’s lust and affection, thereby unifying them emotionally. She chooses to portray herself as an innocent bystander of a supposed act of witchcraft. The same can be said about Chillingworth. He makes himself out to be as someone who seeks to help Dimmesdale, when his true intentions are trying to make him suffer for having an affair with his wife Hester. As a result, both of these individuals give themselves a dual personality, demonstrating their good and bad sides simultaneously.

Meanwhile, both use different approaches to executing their plans. Abigail chooses to finger point people and wrongfully accuse them of things they didn’t commit, with her being liberated of any trouble. Her true intentions was to accuse Elizabeth and get her out of the way, but wound up getting John in that predicament. Chillingworth took a more quiet, stalker-like approach. He chose to stay lurking behind the scenes. Yet, he couldn’t extract the revenge he looked for because Dimmesdale was in charge of inflicting that on himself.

Abigail and Chillingworth are motivated by revenge. It was that revenge which led them to gain notorious notoriety by doing what they did. Yet, because of their actions, both paid a tremendous price for trying to a “Judge, Jury, and Executioner” type of person. Abigail went on to become a prostitute in Boston. Chillingworth died a slow death. However, both didn’t accomplish their main goals. In the end, they didn’t wreak havoc on the people they sought to damn. They basically suffered the consequences and repercussions themselves.

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