Test Of A Courageous Person Essay, Research Paper
The test of a courageous person is the ability to bear defeat without losing heart. This
happens when a person is challenged with an overwhelming obstacle that is immposible to
defreat, but when overcome the person still emerges with his dignity. Two works that illustrate
this are the play The Crucible by Arthur Miller and the novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel
It is possible not to overcome an obstacle and still manage to be victorious. This is true
for John Proctor a Puritan from Puritan New England, who was defeated, but died with his
dignity. One example is seen when Abigail with whom John had an affair, convinced the jury his
wife, Elizabeth was a witch. John did not wan this wife to pay for his sins and he admitted to the
truth of his adultery knowing his fate would be death. During this chaos John is accused of
witchcraft. He refused to admit to being a witch and would not spare his life by admitting to a lie.
The jury would let him live if he confessed but he chose his fate and told the truth. He had far too
much dignity to lie in order to save himself he rather the truth be known. Another example is
obvious when he made a false confession to practicing witchcraft but could not sign it because he
wanted to keep his good name for his sons and die a martyr. Even though he was put to death he
still was victorious because he did not lose his dignity by admitting to a lie.
Another Character who illustrates the statement is The Scarlet Letter’s Hester Pryne who
throughout the novel is antagonized by everyone in the town but still does not lose heart. One
example is clear when she must stand on the scaffold in front of the entire town to be ridiculed for
her sin of adultery. She never lowers herself by yelling back at the crowd. The crowd called her
cruel names and described how they would have punished her. Therefore she keeps her dignity by
not resorting to their childish level. She also must wear a scarlet “A” on everything she wears as a
constant reminder of her sin. When she walks through the town the people see the “A” and yell at
her ans call her names but she never responds. Another Example when she does not lose heart
involves her husband, Roger Chillingworth, He comes to the town after being held captive by the
Indians. When he arrives he pretends to be a doctor and is slowly destroys Reverand
Dimmesdale, Hester’s lover. Chillingworth poses as a doctor to help the sickly Dimmesdale.
However Chillingworth is actually giving him potions and special Indian medicines to make him
feel even more ill. By doing this Chillingworth is slowly destroying Hester’s life as well. Soon
she devises a plan to run away with Dimmesdale and her daughter Pearl. When Chillingworth
discovers this he makes arrangements to come along. This crushes Hester’s dreams of happiness
with her family, but she still manages not to give up. Even after Dimmesdale finally confesses to
adultery and dies and Chillingworth dies she still makes her life in the town the best it can be.
Now people in the town ask her for advice, which is ironic, because in the beginning of the novel
she was looked down upon. She is now seen as a wise womean. In the novel Hester Pryne
endured many obstacles but still maintained her dignity and never gave up.
These two works demonstrate that a courageous person can be defeated but does not have
to give up and still manages to keep their dignity. This task is difficult but still able to be
achieved. John Proctor and Hester Pryne are strong people who were defeated by major problems
during their life but were still able to keep their dignity. This theme is found throughout literature and is difficult to achieve but not immposible.