Conformity V. Protest In The Crucible

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade September 2001

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Conformity is an idea that has plagued mankind for ages; it is the question that we as human beings ask ourselves everyday: should we do what is expected of us, or should be follow our heart, and do what we believe is right? In Arthur Miller's The Crucible, the idea of conformity versus protest is an underlying theme that continues throughout the whole play. The characters conforming to the church, or turning their backs on it emphasize the concept of conformity v. protest in The Crucible.

The once tightly knit, church loving town of Salem turned into a bitter and torn apart town once the subject of witchcraft began to consume them all. Instead of pulling together, they pointed fingers, accused their friends and neighbors, and turned their backs on the church. Each character questioned whether it was better to vocalize their own opinions and beliefs, or lie about their own "relations with the devil"� in order to survive.

These rumors happened because people wanted to alter the blame from themselves to anybody else; and behind all these rumors was a seventeen-year-old girl named Abigail Williams. The Puritan religion states that young girls are to have no rights at all, so it is somewhat ironic that everybody believes Abigail, one of the first girls to admit to witchcraft, when she claims, "I want to open myself! I want the light of God, I want the sweet love of Jesus! I danced for the Devil; I saw him; I wrote in his book; I go back to Jesus; I kiss His hand. I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil!"� (848). Another girl, Betty, Reverend Parris' daughter, continues the cry with, "I saw George Jacobs with the Devil!...