Crucible-fear And Suspicion Cause Destruction

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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In the play, The Crucible, one of the major themes shows that fear and suspicion are infectious and can produce a state of general hysteria that results in the destruction of public order and rationality. Miller conveys this theme through the characters' actions. He uses numerous situations as a metaphor of the pressure on society to conform. This play also showed that one's actions, no matter how innocent his intent, can have negative consequences on those around him.

The characters exist in a time of unforgiving and vengeful Puritanism. As a result, they are narrow minded and gullible. On one hand, they'll do anything at all to appear "good" in God's eyes. But, on the other, they all seem to be in it for themselves. At various times throughout the play almost all of the characters pointed a finger at someone. Sometimes it was justified, but in many cases it was just to move the focus off himself.

For example, Abigail Williams, to the average member of the town, may appear to be a normal, average seventeen year old girl. But, in reality, she is the one who started it all. She worked in the Proctor home and even initiated an affair with John Proctor. She wanted to put a curse on Elizabeth Proctor. What did the others have to gain? Abby was the leader of it all. She planed it all for her own personal gain. She wanted to move Elizabeth out of the scene so that she could marry John. If she hadn't decided to try to put a spell on Elizabeth most of the story wouldn't have existed. Here desire for John caused her to perform actions that led to the trials. Without her actions the town may have stayed undisrupted. She did not realize or...