Vengeance In The Scarlet Letter And The

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Vengeance In The Scarlet Letter And The Crucible Essay, Research Paper Vengeance is a corrupter of both persons and societies. When a society is based on religion, it will find vengeance on its wrongdoers or outcasts in a way that is justified by its creed. Societies such as this will also destroy or deeply hurt the people that their vengeance is directed toward. Furthermore, when a person lives in a society that is based on religion and wishes to find an outlet for feelings of hatred or jealousy, he will find an outlet that can justify his actions. A person such as this can also corrupt his society and others around him. The Crucible and The Scarlet Letter are helpful novels in demonstrating this because they are both set in communities of devout faith, and each displays

corruption through vengeance. A more in-depth example of vengeance affecting a society is provided in The Scarlet Letter. This revenge consists in publishing the sinner’s ignominy by public confession and physical branding. Hester is first forced to stand in front of the town to bear her shame. She is then made to wear the scarlet ?A? for the rest of her life. The people of this puritan settlement take obvious pleasure in watching her humiliation, and the gossiping women that speak as Hester first leaves the jail show this. ?It would be greatly for the public behoof, if we women, being of mature age and church-members in good repute, should have the handling of such malefactresses as this Hester Prynne?? (Hawthorne 48). They find obvious justification of this righteous and

vengeful sentiment in their religion. The gossips not only prove this, but also reflect how eager this society is to punish people. Such vengeance that is found in societies has a devastating effect on the individuals to whom it is directed; Hester soon loses all of her womanly charm and enthusiasm for life. In an observation of persons in the same religious societies, one may find that the same conjecture can apply. The cry of witchcraft started in The Crucible by a group of young girls that merely wished not to be punished. When hysteria spread like wildfire, it soon became clear that people could cry witchery on others they were jealous of or who had wronged them in the past. They could get away with this form of revenge, too, because they could justify it both in their own

eyes and in society?s; it would appear that they were doing the world a favor by ridding it of the devil?s instrument, and they could take comfort in this by convincing themselves that it was true. The bitter Ann Putnam, wife of Thomas in The Crucible, is a striking example. She gave birth to eight children and only one survived, but Rebecca Nurse had numerous and healthy children as well as many grandchildren. Ann Putnam was jealous because of this and took much pleasure when Goody Nurse was condemned as a witch under the charge of murdering Ann?s seven babies with her spirit. Abigail of this novel also used religion as a vice for her vengeance. She hoped to have John Proctor?s wife, who had cast Abigail out of her house, condemned of witchcraft so that she could continue her

affair with him. Abigail justifies accusing Elizabeth by feeding off of what Salem had depicted the child as being; a holy spirit sent to deliver them from evil. John Proctor sees through this guise, and notes: ?I?ll tell you what?s walking Salem- vengeance is walking Salem. We are what we always were in Salem, but now? common vengeance writes the law!? (Miller 77). Because of these vengeful individuals, the entire community of Salem was disturbed. To take characters of The Scarlet Letter into consideration, Roger Chillingworth, former husband of Hester, serves as an excellent example of how vengeance corrupts people. His way of achieving the perfect revenge is not immediate or physical harm to Reverend Dimmesdale but rather a slow and deceitful process. Chillingworth feels that