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As much as you may try to steer clear of sin, everyone will sin at some time in their life. But, there are groups of people who spend a lot of their time becoming as close to perfection as you can. One of the most extreme groups with this aim were the 17th century Puritans who immigrated from England to America. They set a number of the toughest legislation to follow and imposed harsh sentences on those who broke them. Naturally there were people who broke these laws and paid the results. Usually this was true because of their pride. Still, not everybody was penalized; lots of people escaped unharmed using their "crimes". Two novels written about the Puritan time period, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne and The Crucible by Arthur Miller, reveal several imperfect characters who have sinned, a few who are punished for their activities and others That Are not. The main characters of these two books are the sinners that get the harshest penalties of the Puritan system since both of them are proud of what they are going through. From The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne "has to wear the mark of shame upon her bosom" (Hawthorne 59), the letter "A", symbolizing her sin of adultery. Hester choses this punishment over the option of revealing the individual perpetrator, which reveals the pride in what she has done. However, besides her activities with this sin, Hester is someone who follows the Puritan religion very carefully and has rarely sinned during her life. She is considerably more righteous a person than several others in her community. Yet, that one sin makes her look horrible in the eyes of the townspeople. The main character of The Crucible, John Proctor, suffers an even harsher penalty f.. .