The Crucible In the opening of The Crucible, we learned that in this small town of Salem, the citizens are more than willing to accept lies in order to promote hatred, greed and to obtain vindication for their own jealousy. A crucible is defined as a severe test that is exactly what this story by Arthur Miller is all about. A test of the human spirit, and a test to overcome stigma and defamation of character.
The Crucible introduced us to a variety of characters the liars, the betrayed, the martyrs, the good, the bad, and the ugly. The children's lie to avoid punishment only perpetuated the destruction of lives. This can be seen vividly through the transformation of John Proctor. Proctor epitomized the work ethics of the Puritan society. Once his life was poured into the crucible "ÃÂ the children's accusations, not only his life changes so does he.
As the children continued to accuse towns' people of witchcraft, Proctor finds it difficult to understand the gullibility of the town. He was especially angered when his wife was taken into custody. Upon his indictment for also being accused of witchcraft, he was faced with his own inner demons. He saw himself as a fraud because committed adultery with Abagail. Proctor was forced to admit to being a witch, which he does but refuses to have his name posted on the church doors, and publicized. He didn't want to be considered a martyr because he felt unworthy. He states ""ÃÂ¦Because it is my name! Because I can not have another in my life"ÃÂ¦ Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave my name!"ÃÂ (Miller 133). The one thing that he holds precious to him besides his family was his reputation. In the end he realizes that he was the only one that could save him.
Another character that is transformed within The Crucible was Elizabeth Proctor. Lies and deception led to the death of a lot of her friends including her husband. In the beginning she is portrayed as a weak, feeble wife who knows of her husband's adultery but has forgiven him yet not forgotten. Her strength begins to show once she is blamed for witchcraft. One of the main things she did was to lie in order to save her husband. This can be seen on page 105. This shows that she was willing to compromise her values to save her husband's name. In the end she could not compromise her values once more because now she had to think about her baby. She made it very clear to her husband that she could not determine his fate, she felt that was something that he had to find the courage to do on his own.
The Salem Witch Trials were a part of American History that epitomized the lack of trust in the goodness of others. The Crucible showed that in this situation the continued accusations were based on vengeance within a society for land lust, lost love, and jealousy. This behavior led to the death of numerous innocent citizens.