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Both novels display the idea of individuals having to assume a sense of moral conviction in a world where this has become absent. John Proctor and Amir must emerge to a realm where they seek "to become good again," to quote Rahim Khan. Both characters' emergence to a state where moral transcendence is the only possible path is evident. There is great sacrifice along this path. Proctor must sacrifice his marriage and his life in order to protect his name, while Amir must endure physical and emotional pain in order to fulfill his need to "become good again." Both works feature a paragon of evil that has to be confronted in Abigail and Assef. The localizing of evil in both of these characters makes their journeys to redemption quite challenging. Finally, I think that there is a great deal of similarity between both novels' social and political settings. Salem's fear of witchcraft allows particular individuals to remain in the position of power by enhancing public fear and hysteria instead of quashing it. In much the same way, the Taliban in Afghanistan use religion as a way of consolidating their own control over a fragmented social and political landscape.
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