Scarlett Letter Hypocrisy

December 5, 2017 General Studies

The Scarlet Letter and The Crucible Hypocrisy as defined in the dictionary reads: an expression of agreement that is not supported by real conviction. Everyone is always trying to make an impression of being good whereas their intentions are unclear and their purposes, dishonest. Hypocrisy is a sickness that not only people in the 21st century obtain but as do the people in the 19th century. In the novel, The Scarlet Letter and the play The Crucible there are many cases where hypocrisy is shown.

In Nathaniel Hawthorn’s, The Scarlet Letter, there is not one but many people who say one thing and do another. Hester Preen, the main character, is first to show her hypocrisy in this novel. She claims throughout the whole book that she loves her child, Pearl, and that she would do anything for her yet she refuses to confess to Pearl who her father really is. Hester also says she loves Damsel, whom she had the affair with, but she will not put him out of his misery by telling the Puritan community that he was the one she committed adultery with.

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Instead, she lets him suffer only to save his reputation. In spite of all Hester hypocritical acts, Arthur Damsel takes the prize in being the biggest hypocrite in the whole novel. Arthur Damsel is a reverend in the novel, and he is known as a pure, non- sinner. Damsel being a minister, he knows that the bible says “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man teeth is without the body; but he that commitment fornication sonnets against his own body. ” (1 Coring. 6:18), and yet knowing this, he stills commits adultery.

He preaches about this every Sunday, telling others not to commit sins and to stay pure even though he is not. He is the one responsible for trying to make Hester confess who the father is and in front of the whole Puritan community. He pretends to not know, and Judges her for her sin, which he, too, committed. He is These two main characters are not the only hypocrites, the entire community is. The community claims that they live for God and they believe in his word, even though in the Bible it repeatedly says to forgive.

The Puritans do not forgive Hester for her sin until many years have passed. In common with The Scarlet Letter, Arthur Miller includes many hypocrites in his novel, The Crucible. Reverend Paris is prime example for hypocrisy in a character. When his niece is questioned about witchcraft having to do with her being sick, he denies it and says she will be cured by medicine, knowing that the girl did witchcraft. Then when Mary Warren, one of the girls in the trial, is in court, he will find any way to claim that she was the only girl doing witchcraft.

Reverend Paris cannot allow that someone in his family had anything to do with witchcraft. Another character in this novel that portrays hypocrisy is Judge Detonator. Judge Detonator, the man responsible for deciding who dies and who doesn’t, tells the community to tell the truth and then when Mary Warren suddenly comes out to tell the truth, he ridicules her. He begins to question her because her confession goes against what he has been convicting people of. Judge Detonator’s pride will not let her testimony be the truth.

Hypocrisy is not something that has recently come to play. Whether it has to do with pride or selfishness, hypocrisy has been in society for hundreds of years. Many people Judge others for committing a crime or a sin, when they themselves commit the same one. In both The Scarlet Letter and The Crucible, hypocrisy is used to save one’s life or to save one’s reputation. In Conclusion, both this play and this novel have very interesting plots and themes, in which I recommend greatly to those who take interest in being academically challenged.


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