Book Report of "The Crucible," by Arthur Miller

Essay by jji2004High School, 11th gradeA+, January 2003

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The Crucible is about a severe killing of many innocent people in puritan society during the 17th century. At that time, people are filled with hysteria and phobias of witchcraft, which soon led to ridiculous accusations of innocent people. The main instigator of the story is Abigail Williams, a teenage girl who fell in love with a married man, John Proctor. Abigail feels that the only barrier between being together with John Proctor is Elizabeth Proctor, John Proctor's wife. Because of this, Abigail begins her plot of accusing Elizabeth Proctor of being a witch. At first, Abigail begins accusing people with bad reputation, then moves on to accusing more well-known members of society. Soon, the accusations got out of hand, everyone started accusing everyone else of witchcraft based on abstract facts. By the time Elizabeth Proctor is accused, there are over 70 death warrants already signed. John Proctor tried to save his wife by testifying in the court, but he too, is convicted.

At the end of the play, John Proctor chooses to die rather than to sign a false confession of being a witch. Like many others, John Proctor, too, is hung.

The Crucible takes place in Salem, Massachusetts during the 17th century in a puritan community. At that time, Puritans live in a theocracy government, where the church and the state are one. The puritan's governmental justice system is a very important factor that led to this tragedy. The decision of the puritan court has a direct reflection on God himself because the government is the representation of God. Also, because court believes in supernatural figure such as God, it also has to acquiesce to the existence of witchcraft. However, witchcraft is an improvable because of the intangibility of concrete evidence. A person can accuse...