The Crucible

Essay by Barlow21High School, 11th gradeA+, March 2002

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The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, is a play about the Salem Witch Trials, in Salem, Massachusetts, in the year 1692. In this play, the characters are obsessed with goodness, and evil. In the 17th century, it was not acceptable to be evil, or have evil thoughts. Most fun was also considered evil. Characters in this play are caught "dancing," and it somehow turns into a witch-hunt. There are many evils in this play, like, greed, murder, vengeance, manipulation, obsession, lying, and lechery. The Puritan religion is the reason for why the people are being executed. The easiest evils to explain are obsession, lying, and manipulation.

The biggest obsession in Salem is purity in the lives of the people. Reverend Parris for example, questions his niece Abigail's purity by saying; "Your name in the town-it is entirely white, is it not?" (Act 1, Page 12). She argues that her name is not soiled.

Abigail is again questioned by Parris of her purity. "Abigail, is there any other cause than you have told me, for your being discharged from Goody Proctors service? I have heard it said, and I tell you as I heard it, that she comes so rarely to the church this year for she will not sit so close to something soiled. What signified that remark?" (Act 1, Page 12). The people of Salem are obsessed with preserving the perceived cleanliness of their souls, and that if you do one thing wrong, you are practically a leper.

Mrs. Putnam has a strange obsession with talking to her dead babies. "And now, this year, my Ruth, my only - I see her turning strange. A secret child she has become this year, and shrivels like a sucking mouth were pullin' on her life too. And so I thought to...