The Crucible

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade October 2001

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Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible, is set in 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts. The Crucible is based on the historical account of the Salem Witch Trials. Miller captures the intolerance and religious passion of the time and effciently integrates them into the play. In Arthur Miller's play , The Crucible, fear, guilt, and Fear made the Puritans intolerant. Fear motivates Mary Warren. She is risking her life by telling the courtroom attendants the truth, and she is fearful of that reason. In the Puritan sense, the woods symbolize evil. The girls were fearful while dancing in the woods because they were afraid of being caught and punished.

Hysteria has caused some of the most dredful and seemingly endless persecutions. The hysteria in Salem replaces the mind and helps the public to think that their fellow citizens, whom they have always considered righteous people, are perpetrating illogical and astounding sins--communing with the devil, killing babies, and so on.

The mass hysteria in Salem, Massachusetts, led false accusations to appear and tore apart the community. In The Crucible, the people in Salem acknowledge and become active in the frantic enviroment not just out of legitimate religious piousness but also because it gives them a possibility to express reserved feelings and to proceed on long-held dislikes. The most apparent instance is Abigail, who uses the situation to accuse Elizabeth Proctor of witchcraft and have her sent to prison. Ultimately, hysteria can prosper only because people benefit from it. It suspends the rules of daily life and allows the acting out of every dark desire and hateful urge under the cover of righteousness.

The views of the citizens in Salem contradict the issue of witchcraft. Their beliefs and ethics made them tolerant to....While the majority withdraws from its own demise, a few people including John Proctor, believe that the greatest respnsibilty of humanity is to stand firm for what the individual believes to be morally acceptable choice.

By committing adultery, refusing to confess, and leaving his family in the eng, John Proctor destroys everthing he once had. He pays the critical price because he chooses to protect himself, his friends, and his community from ridicule, humiliation, and persecution.

John Proctor does this by adhering to his principles, breaking with the community, and dying with self-respect. Giles Corey, in being responsible for his family, does not answer the court, suffers punishment, and stands by his pride. One of mankind's greatest challenges is to defends its own beliefs.

Life presents us with ver hard and many times unfair choices. The Crucible is much of a tragedy.