The Quality Of Temptation
The qualities of temptation include wanting something one shouldn’t have because one might lose what he or she originally had.In the Scarlet Letter, the Crucible, and the Red Badge of Courage, the main character experiences temptation of something they really want, but obtaining their temptation causes them to both lose what they want and what they had.
The temptation that they have eventually leads to the downfall of the characters. In the Crucible, John Procter, the husband of Elizabeth, has an affair with a maid in his house.Abigail, the maid, falls in love with John Proctor, but the affair does not last long.John Proctor thinks about the things that could happen if he is with Abigail, so he decides to break up with Abigail and stay with Elizabeth.However, Elizabeth had found out that he was with Abigail and removes Abigail from the house.This builds hatred between Abigail and Elizabeth, and the problem gets bigger and bigger until Elizabeth is told that she is accused of committing witchcraft and sent to jail.
The temptation of John Proctor leads him to tragedy where he loses both Abigail and Elizabeth, and later, his life.A similar story happens in the book the Scarlet Letter, where Dimmesdale has an affair with Hester and accidentally makes her pregnant.In the Puritan society, having an affair and a child out of wedlock is considered a crime.Hester and Pearl are sent to jail and Hester was given a letter “A” to wear on her chest to show that she had an affair when she was already married.Hester doesn’t want her boyfriend to lose his job and instead carries the guilt with her, so she hide the truth that Pearl’s father is Dimmesdale.
Later on in the story, Dimmesdale feels extreme self-hatred from succumbing to temptation so he tortures himself in many ways.He loses his relationship with Hester, his health gets extremely bad, and he never has a family. His temptation to become involved with Hester leads to his subsequent death. The Red Badge of Courage is another story where the main character has temptation, but here he grows from the mistake of following his temptation and in turn becomes stronger.In his early life, he is a timid soldier who is scared of war; in his first battle, he is struggling whetherhe should run away, and he does.After he runs away, he became a shame to the army, and everyone’s discussing about his behavior.He himself also feels ashamed, so he decided to never run away again.In the rest of the battles, he meets many friends, never gives up, and finally achieves his goal of winning an impossible war.He is awarded with lots of goods, but the greatest thing he gets is that he is awarded with respect.He grows from a child who gave into temptation and cannot handle everything to a man who can face anything that is in front of him. Having a temptation is not necessarily bad, but it depends on how a person faces the situation and the choices he or she makes.If John Proctor had made a determined decision that he wanted to be with Elizabeth at first, he would not have ended up with tragedy, breaking two women’s hearts and going to jail.The quality of temptation in the three stories really tells the reader that tragedies can be made by people; if one makes the right decision, then how one deals with temptation can make a person better.