The Outcasts of the Crucible

Essay by avmartinHigh School, 11th gradeA-, September 2014

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The Outcasts of The Crucible

The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller, is a screenplay based on the witch trials of 1692. It follows the lives of members of the Salem community as they experience the chaos that occurred during that time. Salem then was strictly Puritan, and if you didn't believe in God and do as he told you, then you were out. It was a black and white community, there was no gray area. Those in the community were expected to assimilate to the traditions of Salem, and if you didn't then you were seen as "the other". In American literature, "the other" is defined as any marginalized person in American society. In The Crucible, those who were believed to be imperfect Christians and devil worshippers were seen and treated as "the other". John Proctor, Tituba, and all others who were accused of witchcraft are the "others" in The Crucible based on their relationship with God, their social standing, and how society labeled them.

Part of being a Puritan was to not only obey the ten commandments that God gave us, but to live by them as well. If one was to waver in their faith to the commandments, they were seen as imperfect Christians. John Proctor was a good man in Salem, but was untrusted due to the fact that he rarely attended church on the Sabbath Day. Revered Hale of Beverly was extremely concerned with why John didn't attend church, and said to John, "Twenty-six time in seventeen month, sir. I must call that rare" (61). Hale goes on to say that, "[...] a Christian on Sabbath Day must be in church" (62). Because of the events involving witchcraft prior to this confrontation, Proctor is also suspected of witchcraft. Proctor tries to explain to Hale that...