Arthur Miller's The Crucible.

Essay by CHAOSMANHigh School, 10th gradeA-, May 2003

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Crucible Essay

The fall of Salem's social structure precipitated the murders of many innocent people. Arthur Miller's depiction of the Salem witch trials, The Crucible, deals with a community that starts out looking like it is tightly knit and church loving. It turns out that once the girls are caught dancing in the woods, and a plethora of accusations are made. Hysteria and hidden agendas break down the social structure and then everyone must protect themselves from the people that they thought were their friends. The center of attention belongs to Abigail who caused the death of many. Because of her youth, and the time, and age they were in, it was a hard time dealing with things like the devil and witchcraft. Many instances in the play Abigail used false accusations to harm other characters in the play. Because of her youth the court would believe anything she would say, thus making Abigail the leader of the community.

Arthur Miller used hysteria to show personality flaws in characters that were vulnerable. A firm social system, fear, and confusion were unmistakable conditions that became common before and during the witch trials. These conditions only contributed to the tragedy in Salem, which was marked by an illusion created by Abigail and the girls.

The isolation of the Puritan society created a firm social system that did not allow for any variation in lifestyle. If one did different from another they could expect trouble. The strict society that was enforced at this time had a damaging effect on the Proctor family. John Proctor, a hard working farmer who had a bad season the year before and struggling this year was occasionally absent at Sunday service. This was due to the fact he needed to tend to his crops. Also, Proctor did...