Often in exceptional works of literature, identities, personalities, and surroundings can be quite similar or distinct with characters in other works. Two works of literature that display both aspects are The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and The Crucible, by Arthur Miller. Abigail Williams and Hester Prynne are two women with many similarities while they also can be illuminated with many differences.
The two works of literature have very similar qualities, including setting, conflict,and general aspects of the characters, while there are also specific parallels between characters, such as Abigail Williams and Hester Prynne. The time period, for which Abigail and Hester lived were almost the same, The Scarlet Letter takes place around the 1640s, while The Crucible occurs in 1692. The time period is very important in pieces, because it is a time of religious intolerance and a conservative attitude pervades in New England, where Abigail and Hester lived.
Both are startlingly similar in many ways. For one, both go through the same types of dilemmas, because they are both very much alone in their lives. Hester is shunned by society and lives on the outskirts of town. Abigail is an orphan, and considering she is never really part of a family, she probably as a feeling of loneliness for all of her life. Another similarity between the two is that they are both are adulteresses. Hester who commits adultery with Dimmesdale, her true love and Abigail commits adultery with John Proctor.
On the other hand, Abigail Williams and Hester Prynne have much dissimilarity. Hester is introduced to the reader as a devout Puritan with the exception of her sin of adultery. She appears to be acceptant of her sin and the reproductions that followed it, while Abigail’s sins are hidden from society and is accusing many innocent people for witchcraft. After recognizing her sin Hester works for forgiveness by helping the poor and giving to charity while Abigail works for vengeance aiming to put an end to her foe.
Hester is a married woman who is unfaithful by sleeping with another man, Dimmesdale. Aibigail is not married, but also commits adultery by sleeping with a married man, John Proctor. Both sins are essential to the plot of both works of literature. However, Hester pays the price of this sin, while Abigail does not. Abigail Williams and Hester Prynne have many similarities and differences, which are explicitly depicted by the two writers, Hawthorne and Miller.
In these two pieces one can see the differences in writing methods used by the two writers and how many distinct ways they portray their characters. Also in these two fine works, characters such as Abigail and Hester can be misconstrued so that readers are unclear of the thoughts and intentions of these characters. But the reader must dig deeply to find the true meaning and the truth that lies beneath it all, that is what makes reading literature using.