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Sometimes two things may seem like they have nothing in common but when analyzed more critically one may find many similarities. A good example of this would be between The Crucible and Sommersby. These two stories may seem like they have nothing in common; one, The Crucible, is about the Salem witch trials, the other, Sommersby, is about a POW returning home after six years. These two stories may appear to be totally different but they do in fact share many similarities.

Three of the characters in The Crucible are very similar to three characters in Sommersby. The three characters The Crucible are John Proctor, his wife Elizabeth Proctor, and Abigail Williams. The three characters in Sommersby are Jack Sommersby (Horace Townsend), Laurel Sommersby, and Orin Meecham. John Proctor is like Laurel Sommersby in the sense that they have both committed the sin of adultery. Jack Sommersby is much like Elizabeth Proctor because they both have their reasons to believe their spouse is cheating on them, but don t have the concrete evidence to confront their spouse. And the relationship between the two couples can be described in the same way; they are very uncomfortable around each other. Orin is similar to Abigail Williams because they are the ones that are having the affair with either Laurel or John. Both of them also try very desperately, with no success, to maintain their relationship with the person they are committing adultery with. Some of the characters in these two stories have something similar to the character in the other story.

Jack Sommersby and John Proctor made similar decisions prior to not confessing or denying the crimes they were accused of committing. Sommersby did not try to deny the charges brought up against him for the murder of a man in a nearby town that he did not kill nor does he sustain the idea that he is not really Jack Sommersby. Proctor does not formally confess to being a wizard nor did he try to deny the charge. They both had similar reasons for making the decisions they did. They did it to help other people, not for any personal benefit. Sommersby did not try to back up the idea that he was Horace Townsend and not Jack Sommersby, because if he did that many people in town would lose all the land they have purchased from him. If he had confessed to being Horace Townsend he would have been able to live but that was not what was important to him. What was though was the happiness of the people in his town. Proctor refused to sign the document that would officially submit his confession, because if he confessed then it would prove to the town that the accusations of witchcraft were legitimate. All the other people that had confessed to witchcraft were not good Christians so their confession did not really mean much to the town. Had Proctor confessed to practicing witchcraft he would have lived but then the town could have confirmed the accusations of witchcraft and all the people that have hung would have hung for a good reason. But since he did not confess the good name of all the people hung were not defiled and the town cast even more doubt upon the accusations of witchcraft. In making these decisions the characters in both stories made decisions based on the good of their town and not for the good of themselves.

In both stories the wives were brought up to testify during the trials. In both stories the wives do almost the same thing. In Sommersby Laurel says that she knows the person impersonating Jack is not really him. She says this because she knows if she does then the court cannot try Jack for the murder. Elizabeth Proctor does the same thing when she is brought into court and asked if she ever suspected that her husband had been having an affair with their housekeeper, Abigail. Trying to keep John from prosecution, she says no she had no idea that john had any relationship with Abigail and that she fired Abby because she was doing a poor job. Both Laurel and Elizabeth lie to keep their husbands alive, even though Laurel was telling the truth the she at the time had not confirmed this suspicion.

These two stories may appear to be totally different but they do in fact share many similarities. The Crucible and Sommersby both shared many similarities in characters and their decisions. Some of the characters are almost identical in both stories. This may have been so because of the way great writers and great producers think, or maybe it is just that both of these great literary pieces of work depict what conscience tells one to do.


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