The Crucible

Essay by foth459Junior High, 9th grade June 2008

download word file, 4 pages 5.0

Arthur Miller’s play the Crucible surrounds a puritanical society who as the name suggests believe in purity and godliness. This is what makes the play interesting however as good is counterbalanced by evil and to keep the community together fear of evil is forged into every citizen of the society. This consequently leads to an onslaught of paranoia in the community. The paranoia gives way to conflict of authority, presents opportunity for revenge and installs a sense of pride that every man in the community will go to great lengths to protect. The play is set in Puritan America in 1692, and focuses on the Salem witchcraft trials. Miller’s purpose is clear, to demonstrate the mass hysteria and confusion in the time of the Salem witch trials, how this has divested man of conscience, of himself and how this is still true today.

Millar’s deliberate use of including the girls talking to each other in slang ‘It’s weirdish’ and changing their language whilst talking to those older or more important than themselves ‘Aye, Pardon Sir’ is significant.

This shows how the girls are manipulating the elders of the community by shifting themselves to give the illusion of saintliness. The elders believe this because ‘[the girls] have come into the light of god’ and anyone who opposes this are trying to undermine authority and the church. John Hale has said ‘we dare not quail to follow wherever the accusing finger points!’People are being forced to go against their ethics and confess as there is no authority to reside in since the girls have the power. There is evidence of this in John Proctors metaphoric statement ‘the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom’. It was unheard of to stand up against such authority and fight for one's...