Puritans were a group of protesters who sought to purify the Church of England. In The Crucible, the Salem Witch Trials took place in the Massachusetts Bay Colony from 1692 to 1693, where the afflicted girls accused innocent people and resulted in numerous deaths. In the “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,’ Edwards talks about the sinner’s who don’t ask God for forgiveness for their sins will face death by throwing them into hell. In the story, ‘The Devil and Tom Walker,’ Tom made a deal with the Devil that he will give his soul in exchange for wealth. “The Crucible”, “The Sinners in the Hands of Angry God,” and“The Devil and Tom Walker,” share a theme, lust whether for land or people, will lead to moral blindness. The three stories demonstrate how lust is a sin that will lead people into trouble just like Proctor, the sinners, and Tom Walker.
Puritan culture has many sets of beliefs, and one of them is acting sinful acts like adultery or lusting over someone which they considered a sin. At the beginning of the story Proctor lusted over Abigail, where he regretted it in the end. According to the author, “I thought of her softly. God help me, I lusted, and there is a promise in such sweat” (Act 3 Line 865-866). Miller illustrates that Proctor accepts his mistake and regrets it. Because of this, it reflects the beliefs of the Puritan culture through Proctor committed the deadly sin of lust. Puritans follow what the bible teachings are and have to stay as pure as possible. According to the Puritanism, “They tried to be morally pure in even the smallest ways” (Puritanism 5). This quote explains that if the Puritans don’t stay pure and do adultery, then they are morally violating God’s will. Puritans are very strict with their rules, and they will get punished if they don’t obey it, since its a sin. Proctor getting involved with Abigail is one of the major factor that trigger the whole thing.
Puritan believed that people thoughts, feelings, and actions are the original sins. Feeling lust over someone is a sin in the Puritan culture. According to Edward, “It is everlasting wrath. It would be dreadful to suffer this fierceness and wrath of Almighty God… which will swallow up your thoughts amaze your soul; and you will absolutely despair of ever having any deliverance, any end,any mitigation” (Edward 128-129). Edward indicates that God punishment to the sinners will be dreadful and harsh, so whatever thoughts they have will be gone because they will be suffering. God judgment for sinners who don’t ask for forgiveness will be painful. According to the Puritan notes, “The sermon talks about God being angry with people for sinful behavior, and throwing them into the fires of Hell as a punishment” (Puritanism 6). The quotes demonstrated that Hell is where the sinner would go for their all the sins they have done. There so many sins in the world that people might be doing without realizing and one of them is lust. Some people might think that lust is not sinning while the others might say it is. But the Puritan believed that lust is a deadly sin since it’s against their belief that they should not lust over someone especially when they are already married.
Lusting or being greedy over land even money can have consequences in the end. Tom Walker made a deal with the Devil to claim his soul in exchange of the buried treasure. According to Irving,“There was one condition which need not to be mentioned, being generally understood in all where the devil grants favor” (Irving 118). Irving explained that Tom would do anything to get the treasure even if he has to give his soul to the Devil. This demonstrates how greedy Tom is and lust for money. Tom’s wife is also greedy and she ended up dead for making a deal with the Devil. According to Irving, “She had probably attempted to deal with the black man as she had been accustomed to deal with her husband” (Irving 118). Irving demonstrates that lusting for more of what you have has consequences in the end. Tom’s wife died because she made a deal with the Devil and it didn’t end up good for her. It also demonstrates how women can are an easy target for the devil because they are more vulnerable. Lusting for more of what you have has consequences in the end. Greedy lust for money can be considered a sin because it destroys people relationship with God and its get in a way. Due to this people is forgetting to worship God because all they care about is money.
Lust can be defined in so many ways like sexual desire, money, and power. It’s also a sin because it can lead people to do bad things where they regret it in the end. “The Crucible”, the “Sinners in the Hands of Angry God,” and “The Devil and Tom Walker” share a common theme, lust whether for land or people, lead to moral blindness. All three stories illustrates how lusting over something or someone has consequences in the end.