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    The Repercussions of Forbidden Love in The Scarlet Letter and The Crucible

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    Forbidden love can have many repercussions. The Scarlet Letter and The Crucible demonstrate this perfectly. Often times people try to forget about the forbidden love or pretend that it never happened. These books show how the consequences of forbidden love can completely alter a person’s life forever, no matter how hard the characters try to forget or pretend nothing happened or make things right.

    The Scarlet Letter starts out with Hester

    Prynne standing on the scaffold in the town center for the crime of adultery. Hester thought that her husband had been lost at sea and while waiting for her husband she had an affair and gave birth to a child. Reverend Dimmesdale cannot stand the thought of what the community would think of him if they knew the truth and his sins haunt him. This is evident when Hawthorne writes “Wilt thou stand here with mother and me, to-morrow noontide? “ inquired Pearl. “Nay; not so, my little Pearl,” answered the minister (139). When the minster first took a hold of Pearl’s hand he felt a rush of new life, but while he stood there the fear and dread of public exposure rushed back over him and he refused to stand with the Hester and Pearl. Minister Dimmesdale feels so guilty about the affair that he physically tortures himself and has visions. Even after they make plans to flee to Europe where they can live as a family, Dimmesdale’s life does not improve. The day before they are to leave, he suddenly mounts the scaffold and confesses the affair publicly. He then shows everyone the scarlet letter he had burned into his flesh, then drops dead. His life never the same after his affair, with the constant reminder of what he had done.

    The Crucible has another great example of how forbidden love causes pain. The Crucible starts off as a story of witches and witchcraft with a girl named Abigail, who is the one that started every problem that this story has. Abigail is the ex maid of John Proctor the man that she committed adultery with. In this story, Proctor is the married one and he and his wife, Elizabeth, are able to stick together throughout the story, even though they are constantly getting blamed and harassed by Abigail and other citizens of the town. The plot of the story is that Abigail wants to live her life with Proctor. However, he wants to fix what he messed up with his wife. Abigail takes thing into her own hands when she tries to get revenge on the

    only person who is stopping her from having Proctor, his wife. As stated by Arthur Miller “PROCTOR: Abby, I may think of you softly from time to time. But I will cut off my hand before I’ll ever reach for you again. Wipe it out of mind. We ever touched, Abby” (22). John Proctor knows he made a mistake by having an affair with Abigail, but he wants to work things out with his wife and Abigail is making it difficult. When his wife is arrested and accused of witchcraft, he convinces his maid, Mary, to tell the courts that the girls are lying. When the girls turn the tide on Mary, John becomes angry and confesses his affair with Abigail and accuses her of being jealous of his wife. When the courts ask John’s wife if he had an affair, she lies to protect him. Then John’s maid, Mary, accuses him of being of being a witch. John is found guilty and is hung with the others that were accused of witchcraft. He tried to fix the mistake of his forbidden love but only ended up hurting himself and everyone around him.

    In conclusion, both The Scarlet Letter and The Crucible are similar in the way that they show how a forbidden love can cause a person a lot of pain and in some instances, even death. Both of these books demonstrate how a forbidden love can be life altering. There is a reason they call it forbidden love.

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    The Repercussions of Forbidden Love in The Scarlet Letter and The Crucible. (2022, Dec 01). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/the-repercussions-of-forbidden-love-in-the-scarlet-letter-and-the-crucible/

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