“The Crucible” by Arthur Miller and “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The readings of “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller and “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the pieces of literature are initially set in a time period in early America, both bring about two characters that seemingly share a similar situation, views, and behaviors that deeply affects their feelings, and emotions that relentlessly purge them in their overall fate, decisions, and final destiny in their lives.
Upon blatant reviewing, both books, review the themes of sin, punishment, evil, and how these ideas not only affect their lives but, of everyone else they know and love. These characters also committed the same crime, which is known as adultery, this crime, at the time being, was in both scenarios, deeply looked down upon, that in both communities, Hester Prynne, as she’s identified, is held accountable by wearing a scarlet “A” (Hawthorne 6) and the other one, John Proctor, is victimized of having relations with a woman, Abigail Williams whose made an infamous reputation, for its pact with an evil force. Next, as we can infer from further analyzing each novel, both characters share a trait of guilt, and how they attempt to redeem themselves. For the most part, Hester understands the guilt in carrying the letter on every one of her garments, and doesn’t confess the father’s name, instead not only does she refuse for consideration of Dimmesdale’s position as a priest, she even replies “Never … I will not speak ..” (Chapter 3, pg 98) Similarly, John puts down his reputation to stop the trial, and save his beloved family.“ Excellency, forgive me, forgive me…. She thinks to dance with me on my wife’s grave! And well she might, for I thought of her softly. God help me, I lusted, and there is a promise in such sweat. (Act 3, pg 102)
To contrast, we can infer within both novels, that in Hester’s novel, there’s a more gradual increment within the plot, as it reaches the climax of the novel, whereas, in Proctor’s case, the awe in the novel comes during Proctor’s trial, where he puts down his reputation for his family. Not only does the novel turn at that point, but, it also bewilders and dumbfounds others like Danforth. “In—in what time? In what place? … his voice about to break, and his shame great: In the proper place—where my beasts are bedded. On the last night of my joy, some eight months past. She used to serve me in my house, sir…” (Act 3, pg 102)
Ultimately, the future fate of both characters would be death itself. Nonetheless, both characters have shown an enduring loyalty towards their loved ones, which not only tells us the reader, a quality they share, but also, an effort they’ve made to try and redeem themselves, even if perhaps their course of action wasn’t a correct one, it is quite an admirable trait on their behalf, considering that their course of action could’ve gone differently, and that they would’ve let their ego take control and put others who are innocent, in danger.
Mob Mentality in “Year Of Wonders” And “The Crucible”
Mob mentality is a common cause of yielding to social pressures or norms, meaning that individual behavior and decision making can be influenced by the presence of others.
Miller constructs an image of Salem, Massachusetts perched on the edge of the dark and barbaric unknown with the looming forest on one side, which was filled with menacing “Indians” waiting to strike, and the stormy, cold Atlantic sea on the other side. This obvious segregation from other areas causes lack of other opinions within the area and influence only from the people in their social setting. Through this Miller carefully foregrounds through this foreboding setting a central concern in the play, being that people believe that their best chance of survival is what they know, and referring to mob mentality, what other people think. This is seen through a quote in Miller foreword being “in unity still lay the best promise of safety”, suggesting that “unity” within this context can be seen as conformity and demonstration of the dangerous mob mentality that will soon occur in Salem. Due to this mob mentality may occur as they do not have very much influence from other people or sources. What they hear is what they think. This is also the same within the Year of wonders in Eyam, in which they are living in a place influenced by only people of their own thoughts. Eyam made the decision to voluntary quarantine itself after its outbreak of the plague meaning that at this time it also was in a state of isolation, and all the crisis occurred within this central area. Likewise to The Crucible, Brooks demonstrated through this use of setting that the lack of communication in areas causes people to act irrationally, suggesting why people acted out in accusations. What was once a tight-knit community is now paranoid and insane, with people accusing each other of dabbling in “witchcraft” and “spells” on a daily basis. This paranoid mob mentality can be seen in both texts to be a sign of what isolation in a physical setting may do to people, although the settings are not entirely that same. These settings do have a place of contrast, suggesting as to why escape from these settings occurs differently in both texts. Although they are both isolated, Anna in Year of Wonders still manages to escape the overwhelming mob physically, as Eyam is not surrounded by threats such as Indians in Salem. John Proctor and Elizabeth did not give into the mob mentality mentally, but were ultimately unable to escape due to lack of any chance of removing themselves from the situation.
The portrayed religious setting in the text suggests being one of the sources of the mob mentality. Both Year of wonders and the Crucible are set during eras where religion dominated within peoples lives, and strong Puritan ideals are evident in both texts. This is also highly influenced by leaders within both texts, in which their religious beliefs and ideals are usually followed by the rest of their respective towns. Salem in The Crucible is seen as a highly Puritan community, which creates a restrictive environment for its people. Due to the churches control over the community and Reverend Parris’ insecure leadership, tension and occurrence of mob mentality is present. Originally he denies the claim of witchcraft, but then entirely fuels the situation and the town along with it. As religion is such an important part in people’s lives during this era, they are repressed to believe what religious figures believe such as Parris. However within Year of Wonders Mompellion’s strong leadership and stereotype breaking puritan values keep Eyam from falling into a complete state of insanity during the outbreak of the plague. Physically the sense of hope, through images of richness and Spring, Brooks has suggested a greater anticipation in the belief that mob mentality will be overcame. The use of this imagery can be explained by the changes of religious mindset at the time and the hope that “old-fashioned” Puritan values are being pushed out to welcome more open-minded religion. Mompellion is a demonstration of these new values which he held during Eyam’s isolation, and can be seen through his intention to discourage the use of stocks in the town, in which Anna states that “even Reverend Stanley seldom called for sinners to be stocked, and Mr. Mompellion had actively discouraged it”. Through this it is seen that Brooks intended to display an open religious character, in order to display that this type of person may cause mob mentality to decease. Although Mompellion is a flawed character, his motives still lie within good for his people. Mompellion is focused on God’s love, not the fundamental principles of religion like Parris, which displays an insight into the ultimate outcomes of mob mentality and the difference in hope that the texts display.
Along with these physical settings, social setting within the plays and way people react in these settings also plays a part in joining in with mob mentality. Throughout both the texts gossip thrives within the town, and creates an environment within the social realms. In the Crucible, the results of this gossip results in many unthinkable acts, which the reader seems to be motived by personal gain. Through the girls following Abigail in the accusations trials it can be seen as an act of mob mentality. Abigail instills fear into the girls by stating she will bring them a “pointy reckoning” if they go against her claims. Through this it is seen that fear is a part of a need to join along in these situations, which the people feel as though they want to keep their own reputation rather than speak their mind. This gossip and accusations causes characters in the text to carry out irrational mob minded decisions, although some characters still remain abundant to this. In the crucible, John Proctor remains with a steady head relating to the trails and accusations, and attempts to mend his own sins through confessing adultery. Use of a flawed “hero” like Proctor was used by Miller to suggest the importance of standing to ones morals in a pack driven situation, allegorically being the cold war. Like the Crucible, Year of Wonders also displays an ugly side to society. These horrible actions are displayed within the mob attack on Mem and Anys Gowdie, where “Cries of ‘whore’ and ‘jade’ and ‘fornicator’ were coming now from every twisted mouth, as the mob surged at Anys where she knelt beside her aunt, leaping upon her and clawing at her flesh.” The use of these mob attacks suggests the extent of disgrace that not having one’s own mind can cause.
Comparison of the Role of Satan in The Crucible and The Devil and Tom Walker
Texts from many different eras have attempted to comment on and advance different themes, especially from the colonial era. Two of these texts are “The Devil and Tom Walker” by Washington Irving, and The Crucible by Arthur Miller. Both of these works attempt to describe the role of Satan in the lives of the people from colonial times, and how these people they were affected by belief in Satan. In The Crucible, a witch scare spreads throughout the town of Salem, believed to have been caused by the Devil, resulting in the death of 19 people. In “The Devil and Tom Walker”, Tom Walker makes a deal with the Devil, resulting in him destroying the lives of people who come to him for help. In the end, having everything he had worked towards disappear. The Crucible and “The Devil and Tom Walker” both comment on Satan’s rise and how the “invisible world” both negatively and positively impacted the people of the colonial era.
“The Devil and Tom Walker” by Washington Irving advanced the theme of Satan, causing many different effects. One of the effects was allowing people to use the idea of Satan as an excuse. During the Colonial era, many powerful people were attacked and it was stated that they had a pact with the devil. This caused speculation throughout the villages they lived in, sometimes ending in the death or imprisonment of these once important figures. “The Devil and Tom Walker” showed someone who had power, being the cause of everyone’s hardships because of his greed and how he was in a league with the devil. The fact that in stories like “The Devil and Tom Walker,” the Devil was the cause of all issues, allowing the Devil to later be used as the causes for anyone’s problems. Another way “The Devil and Tom Walker” promoted the theme of the “invisible world” was by commenting on the lengths people went for a possibility to get what the Devil could provide, and commented on the greed inside people. Tom Walker’s wife went through her house and grabbed everything she had that was valuable and went to the Devil in an attempt to make herself even more wealthy. This was Irving commenting on people’s greed, and how when presented the opportunity to become even wealthier, one will take risk their current wealth, and even their soul with the case if the Devil, for said opportunity.
The Crucible by Arthur Miller commented on how the people of the past viewed the Devil. During the witch scare in Salem, many of the accused witches eventually confessed to having a relationship with the Devil, where he provided something the accused witch would want, in exchange for being a witch and doing the Devil’s bidding. Peoples extreme Puritan beliefs from that time caused them to view any small abnormal thing such as dancing as witchcraft, making for a large number of accusations. The Puritan beliefs during this time also called for fear of the Devil, and for people to report any sign of the Devil so the people affected could be cleansed of their sins by God. People’s fear in the Devil also allowed for some people to advantage of this, allowing them to settle disputes or arguments by calling the other person involved a witch and providing false testimony. In the case of “The Crucible,” Abigail uses her newfound power of being able to call people witches, to call out John Proctor’s wife as a witch, most likely so that she can take her place. Another way The Crucible comments on Satans rise is by highlighting how Satan was so feared, evidence of him could be taken in court seriously. During Colonial times, people had such large Puritan beliefs that people could say and act out as so they were being affected by Satan and this would be taken as serious evidence in the court of law against the accused witch. An example of this was Abigail saying she was being pinched, choked, attacked, and even pierced by needle by some of the witches on trial.
Texts such as The Crucible and “The Devil and Tom Walker” both comment on the rise of Satan during colonial times. These works attempt to take a closer look on how literature using Satan as a topic affected people’s lives. The Crucible commented on how people’s extreme Puritan beliefs made people see the simplest things as signs of Satan, and this extreme belief provided an opportunity for people to take advantage of it. “The Devil and Tom Walker” showed how people would look upon Satan and the “invisible world” as a scapegoat for their problems, and people fully accepted this explanation. Works of literature such as “The Devil and Tom Walker” by Washington Irving and The Crucible by Arthur Miller both attempted to comment on how the rise of Satan affected the people who lived during the colonial era.
Evaluation of the Effects of Group Hysteria as Illustrated in Arthur Miller’s Play, The Crucible
Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible was written to show what happens when people fall to mass hysteria, such as the case with witchcraft throughout the entire story. The play’s plot generally revolves around innocent people who are accused of something that they haven’t done, and are prosecuted because of it. People get their land taken away, and at the very worst get hanged or even crushed to death by giant stones, just like what happened to Giles Corey in the story. There are not many sweet and generous people throughout the story, as a matter of fact, I can only think of one on the top of my head, and that’s Rebecca Nurse. Rather, there are tons of people in the book who care more about their reputations than the people surrounding them. There is no exception for John Proctor. He is rightfully hanged at the end of the story for committing adultery with Abigail Williams.
John Proctor is a terrible person for many reasons. He lies when people accuse him of his wrongdoings, even including his own wife, denies any connection he has between himself and Abigail Williams, is very mentally ill and tormented to say the least, and doesn’t care one bit about the people around him. Even though Proctor is a very miserable and weak minded human being, in the end, he is human, and that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have human emotions and feelings for others. Proctor has a secret longstanding relationship with Abigail Williams, which kind of qualifies as the town whore if you think about it. John Proctor committed adultery with Abigail, which if you did, you would get hanged for it. John continuously lied about his affair repeatedly to not only the court, but to his own wife, which pretty much makes him a Grade A scumbag. “My wife is innocent, except she know a whore when she see one.” (Miller 220). Proctor repeatedly admits that he believes keeping the affair from his wife and everyone else damaged God’s trust in him. If he thought that, why didn’t he just admit to the crime he committed back in Act I? It doesn’t really make much sense when you think about it.
Even though Proctor has many flaws and mistakes in him, he still cares for his family dearly. He is also a very hard and dedicated farmer, which is his main profession in the play. Proctor only strives to do right, but unfortunately, he did one of the most vile and nefarious crimes out there; cheating on his wife. And then he lied about it. Not a very good combination to put together…
One of Proctor’s flaws throughout the entire play is his inability to admit to his sins. Time and time again he had the chance to just fess up and tell the court what happened, and he completely blew that opportunity right out of the water. Proctor can also come off as very blunt when he says “I say- I say- God is dead!” (Miller 226). Proctor also views himself as a man who refuses to slander his own name, breaking into a mental breakdown towards the end of the play when he pleas not to have his false confession nailed to the church door, which he thought as “selling his soul away to the devil”. “Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!” (Miller 240).
If you didn’t know already, John Proctor is the main protagonist of The Crucible, which means the story basically revolves around him and his events. Come to think of it, he barely does anything throughout the first two acts before playing a major role in Act III, where he admits to his affair with Abigail Williams. John Proctor does achieve one goal at the end of the story, and that is saving his good name.
Superstition On Salem in The Crucible
Superstitions in The Crucible made an impact on many people. Superstition excessively credulous belief in and reverence for supernatural beings. Arthur Miller expresses throughout The Crucible. This becomes a rumor of witchcraft that invades the small town of Salem, Massachusetts. In the puritan religion, the devil plays a very important role. The puritans believed that every bad decision made by someone was also made by the devil. Some of these sins included writing poems, listening to religious music, and watching or even performing in plays. The puritans thought this because it all brought focus away from God. It is not hard to see why the puritans believed in superstitions. Many characters were affected by this religion in many ways. In the play, Arthur Miller shows how superstition can lead to the destruction of a community. He showed us these superstitions through Ann Putnam, Reverend Hale, and Abigail Williams.
Ann Putnam is most consumed by the superstition because she already believed that something unnatural caused the deaths of her seven babies after they “shriveled in Goody Osborn hands” and it was her beliefs that started the events that happened in Salem. Ann believes that witchcraft killed her children, she exclaims, “You think it is God’s work you should never lose a child, nor grandchild either, and I have lost seven of my very own.” Ann was a major believer in superstitions because of all the bad things that happened to her family.
Crucible, as we know, means a situation of severe trial which in this context relates to the mental ability of the people of Salem to find out whether this witchcraft is real or just a hoax made up by some teenage girls, that did not want to commit their sins of dancing in the forest. There are many reasons why I claim this. On the cover page, there is a quote that says “The devil is alive in Salem, and we dare not quail to follow wherever the accusing fingers point.” And in John Proctor’s dialogue in Act lll he says “Excellency, does it not strike upon you that so many of these women have lived so long with such upright reputation.” Then Abigail Williams says “Lets either of you breathe a word about the other things, and I will bring reckoning that will shudder you.”The meaning of these quotes that I can prove is that the people of Salem, especially Abigail Williams, are using witchcraft to their advantage by accusing everyone and anyone that they dislike against them.
With these events happening, the people of Salem live in fear of “Am I the next one to get accused?” This is a result that made people hesitant towards each other and this affects society a lot. If we were to live in a town where people held grudges against each other and everyone suspected the other person of committing the act of witchcraft then even one single mistake would lead you to have a disastrous future as they might just blame you for witchcraft and you then can be taken to jail or even worse executed. Which is a good example of how superstitions can lead to a society going crazy. It says again “The devil is alive in Salem, and we dare not quail to follow wherever the accusing finger point.” This also is a good example because this quote in my perspective tries to state how the people of Salem should blindly follow the accusing fingers just because the devil is alive in Salem. This provides evidence on how superstition can lead to a society going crazy. If we look at John Proctor’s dialogue in Act lll on page 866 which says, “Excellency, does it not strike upon you that so many of these women have lived so long with such upright reputations.” So this gives us the insight on how blinded the people of Salem were that they failed to recognize their people and differentiate between good and evil. It also shows that people of Salem only see the lies and not the truth. So there not following what God believes and what he says in the Bible but the people of Salem are so blind sided by what’s going on they don’t know that what they are doing a sin.
McCarthyism and the Crucible: Similarities That Matter
McCarthyism was spoken to as an in all cases fear of communism that made the US look for after superfluous assessment, confinements and as often as a possible unjustifiable act against the people who were simply remotely accused of being a ‘dreaded communist’, while the Salem witch preliminaries incited executions of ladies who were accused of practicing the devil’s work. Despite the fact that the two verifiable periods were parallel in their temperament and substance, the author, Arthur Miller, wrote the Crucible to show and tell everyone how everything was not right and to tell it in a way that he wouldn’t get caught exposing communism and the false accusations.
The purpose of the book was to decision out McCarthy’s actions. The melting pot and McCarthyism were each battery-powered by dread. Within the starting of the melting pot Abigail, a girl World Health Organization was infatuated with John Proctor started blaming girls for being connected with the devil by mistreatment necromancy. She expressed, “She made me do it! She made Betty do it! She makes me drink blood!” (Miller, 40-41). She blessed Tituba regarding necromancy like activity and it results in her death since she couldn’t content innocents. Throughout this point, the courts would merely reprimand you for being a chunk of necromancy and it absolutely was much tough to demonstrate your guiltlessness. Abigail continued to accuse people and soon created the dread within the city since they settled for she would accuse them next. Various people clad to be terribly conscious of their activities within the city since they feared being charged. McCarthy has been careful of the potential dangers nonetheless he took it too way. It absolutely was much tough to demonstrate your inculpableness. He created it, therefore, exhausting to demonstrate your honesty.
An account of the Salem witch trials and harassment, the assembly that was among the foremost wished spot during the time was wild associated had a lot excessive amount of intensity. Such as judge Harthorne, judges had extreme power; they brought in everyone that was accused by someone else and everybody was then placed on the path. One example of this is often Giles Corey. Giles would not value more highly to surrender the names of the folks that gave him his information, thus decide Danforth says, “You are a foolish old man.Mr.Cheever, begin the record. The court is now in session.” (Miller 90). But once put Giles on the spot doesn’t break him into giving any names, they tried to get it out of him by putting stones upon his chest but still doesn’t confess the names. One issue really similar could be the same regarding the U.S. throughout harassment, political leader secure he had a rundown of over 2 hundred folks among the state work that were communist and were legendary folks from the American communist gathering, it created America open emotional disturbance, it created panic. McCarthy caused hysteria by doing this.
Moreover, at these two times occasions, people were seen as accountable until showed guiltlessly. The charges that were made had no veritable reason, however, they were created for different reasons, land, cash, control, etc. On the record of the pot, it gives various phenomenal occasions of this one being Giles asserting Putnam is following individuals for their property. During the play, Giles says ‘If Jacob for a witch he forfeits up his property-that is the law! And there is none but Putnam with the coin to buy so great a piece. This man is killing his neighbors for their land” (Miller 89). Also, a huge goal is any person who seems, by all accounts, to be delicate, for instance, women, youths and the poor were the portion of the huge numbers of who McCarthy affected making them destitute and individuals he focused to pick up control.
Other many similarities that may be clearly discovered are that the pot and McCarthyism created the flexibility to destroy somebody’s life from an instantaneous allegation. The case of this will be awfully obvious within the mix. John Proctor may be a suspect of sharing within the wrongdoing of bad things. When the time comes to admit, he is aware that admitting will spare his body life, anyway at the comparable time it will destroy his name. He says, ‘Why must it be written? Why must I say it?’ (Miller 128,130). He is aware that his admission is meant onto the congregation divider for all to appear at. This will be the explanation and he at long last finally ends up ripping up the papers. Within the event that it was seen by anybody within the network John Proctor’s name would be destroyed to the explanation for anyplace he in all probability will not show himself near Salem. He on these lines picks ending over the embarrassment. A correspondence of this could be within the amount of McCarthyism. On the off likelihood that one was associated with McCarthy with being a communist, their lives were razed. This shows anyway those suspects of communism had their life alienated from them. Despite whether or not it’s a partner in nursing allegation of necromancy of communism, everyone has the pulverization of honest individuals’ lives.
Another example within the witch chases in Salem and McCarthy’s chase for many communists will likewise be engineered. Throughout all of the occasions, it’s remarkably determined that people visited the acknowledgment that each one the mania came at a rare price; a price that requires not to be paid. Within the Pot the person who 1st ends up in these gift circumstances acknowledgment id Reverend Hale. ‘Why, it is all simple. I come to do the devil’s work. I come to counsel Christians they should belie themselves.’ (Miller 121). That explains the regret and compassion that Hale began to condole with the honest people that have been detained thanks to the deceitful incriminations that were created by the wrongful people. during witch-hunt, varied people felt this regret and compassion toward people who were venally charged, but varied people were hesitant to tell their feelings and categorical regret they saw. Within each the Salem witch chases and therefore the counter communist development there’s a visible indication of compassion that inevitably prompted the end of every individual occasion.
After looking from the earliest starting point of time, it is critical to recollect events and see where society has reiterated their blunders. Two of these events that are turned around by one way or another or another, yet compactive in extra are the witch chases that happened in Salem during 1962 and the time of McCarthyism. The various likenesses between the two events are the way by which it influenced the lives of numerous people. The Crucible by Arthur Miller works commendably of making similitude between the two, discrete events.
The Crucible By Arthur Miller: The Impact Of Fear On Society
In the darkest times of uncertainty of suspicious behaviors it is easier to start to put blame on other more innocent people. From things like pointing fingers at a certain group of people based on a prejudice or forming a following to bully a certain group, fear can have a huge effect on society. People usually tend to panic and freak out when something out of the normal has just happened. During the crucible we see people run around blaming or even going so far as to give them death threats because of a rumor they heard.
During act 1 rebecca is talking to Reverend parris and says “I hope you are not decided to go in search of loose spirits, Mr. Parris. I’ve heard promise of that outside. ” During the crucible there is an apparent wildfire of accusations, it is most prominent when reverend hale is pointing fingers at all the girls in salem. Another example of mass hysteria is one episode of The Twilight Zone called The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street. After one of the younger kids on the maple street tells a story about how it possibly could be aliens he says that sometimes aliens prepare by “sending a mother and a father with two kids who look just like humans, but aren’t humans. ” The episode gives really good insight into how people work in situations where they don’t know if they can trust people they’ve known for years or not. In the final moments of the episode it shows the whole town descending to madness and watching everyone go at each others necks, which is such a parallel with the crucible and their crazy train of trying to figure out whos a witch. Scapegoating is the act of singling out an individual for unmerited blame and consequent negative treatment.
Arthur Miller’s the crucible touches on that subject alot two people that are very blatantly supposed to be a scapegoat are Tituba in the beginning when abigail states that Tituba “sends her spirit on me in church; she makes me laugh at prayer!” this scene sets the foundation of what is yet to come in this book that the beliefs and paradigms of that society allow, or even promote, such unjust outcomes. Usually people don’t just scapegoat for no reason they tend to single out a group or people because of anger, frustration, envy, and guilt and are displaced and projected onto another. For example Queen Antoinette of france wife to Louis XVI, when she married into the throne France was already bankrupt and in debt because of King Louis so the new Queen was immediately blamed for the debt so on. Have you ever been so influenced by your peers that you joined in on something that you normally don’t do. If so then you have had a mob mentality. Mob mentality isn’t a good thing it gets the best of us sometimes and could lead to very bad things. In the very beginning of the play abigail talks about tituba and says “she is blackening my name in the village! She is telling lies about me! She is a cold sniveling woman, and you bend to her!” In the start of the play it showed abigail and some other girls all were dancing in the woods but after Parris found out about abigail being there she directed the blame on to tituba and a mob then formed.
The biggest example of modern day mob mentality is the internet and social media. In modern day you see a lot of internet “trolls” online who sit behind a computer screen, talk, and build up a mob or following and go and bully one group or person. Despite both of these take place in totally different era’s their is no denying that there are very apparent similarities. Why do we as humans let something like fear take over us. Throughout all of english novels and history some where lurking in the shadows is something you most fear. Whether it’s being singled out and being made fun of or being falsely accused of something, a form of fear will always be there.
The Analysis Of The Book “The Crucible” By Arthur Miller
The manner in which a person perceives themselves is an important indicator of their identity. In certain instances, the distinction between the importance of self perception over reputation is unclear. In The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, society’s silenced individuality and obligation for conformity, shown through internal or external conflicts among the characters, Giles Corey, Reverend Parris and John Proctor, leads to unjust accusations and duplicity in order to prevent damaging their reputation.
The authority within the town of Salem, Massachusetts, expresses a lack of freedom for individuals and pressures the public into showing dishonesty. Those who think or act in ways that are independent to societal norms are thought of as dangerous. Giles Corey explains his situation with his wife: “I have waked at night many a time and found her in the corner, readin’ of a book. Now what do you make of that?” (Miller 37). The concept of another individual attempting to educate themselves, especially a woman during this time period, is deemed as a direct threat.
Giles Corey is suspicious of his wife’s intent, and apprehensive that it might challenge his own masculinity if she becomes too knowledgeable. In order to prevent this, he accuses her of witchcraft and struggles with an external conflict to ensure the stability of his own pride and character. When it becomes known throughout the village that Reverend Parris’ daughter was included in the group of girls dancing in the woods, he quickly manipulates the situation to escape the blame and correct his name. Reverend Parris explains, “There is a faction that is sworn to drive me from my pulpit” (Miller 10).
Parris is more concerned about being held accountable for his daughters actions and whether they will have an impact on his position, than the health of his own daughter. Thus speaking to the concept of position over morality as an external conflict, which is seen throughout the behavior of citizens within the novel. A majority of the town in Salem succumbs to society’s pressure to assimilate, yet by the end of the novel, John Proctor proves to be a character who strays away from these forced ideals and focuses on staying true to himself. Proctor says, “[with a cry of his soul] because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!” (Miller 133).
Proctor martyrs himself, not as a result of society’s views, but because of how he wishes to view himself. He struggles with an inner conflict as he chastises himself because of his past decisions. Within the trial, he admits to committing adultery, which is a serious sin in Puritan society. Yet, by refusing to confess to something in which he did not truly partake in, he chose to sacrifice himself for the sake of honesty. Through this action, Proctor can see some goodness within himself, and believes it is the only way to be true to his conviction.
The message behind Proctor keeping his name is that it is the last vestige of his self identity. By John Proctor denying to give his name to the court, he proves that his own self image is more important than his reputation. The citizens within The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, were dealing with the issues of external and internal conflicts to preserve their status. Many were willing to allow innocent civilians to take their blame; nevertheless, John Proctor died for his beliefs and was later deemed a hero for this decision. The question is posed of which is more significant: an individual’s decency or their life?
The Crucible – a Morality Play
Morality is the difference between what is good and what is evil. It is the determination of what should be done and what should not be done; or what is right and what is wrong. Morality influences both behavior and motivation of an individual. All people live according to a set of moral concepts, especially for religious people. This is reflected in The Crucible by Arthur Miller. It consists of the Puritan city of Salem, Massachusetts, and deals with the practice of witch hunt. Many people in the city are falsely accused of witchcraft. Individual moral integrity and its absence are exemplified by the writer Arthur Miller in his book The Crucible. The fear of witchcraft surrounds Puritan society and thus creates a rule of the people. The destiny of the city depends on the morale and spiritual wellbeing of its inhabitants. John Proctor and the Reverend Hale are notable and key figures in the condemnation of witch trials; Abigail, Judge Danforth and his supporters are in power in the society. Even though the trials were intended to end when Salem was cleansed of the alleged witchcraft, it remained the responsibility of the individual to ensure that the majority did not become completely overthrown by mass hysteria.
In this story, key people must make important decisions that challenge their religious beliefs and ethics. One must choose to do the right thing and fight the lie or do something wrong and yield to the lie to save their life. Elizabeth Proctor is one of those people who fought for the truth, then she; in my opinion, is the most moral person in history. Elizabeth, who is the wife of John Proctor is reserved, honest, slow to complain and respectful to her husband. She and her husband share a strict respect for justice and moral principles. She has a great sense of confidence in her own moral concepts and skills, her sense of justice, even if this principle clashes with her strict Christian doctrine. She is known throughout the city for being a very practicing and religious Christian woman, who knows all her commandments. Every time her husband is confused or hesitant, she guides him on the path of righteousness and truthfulness. For example, she urges him to end the witch trials by exposing the truth about Abigail’s sinful and deceitful ways. When her husband has to decide whether to be killed or confess to witchcraft, she doesn’t want him to give into a corrupt and unjust society. Although she does not want to lose her husband, she does not lose her morality and her beliefs. Even if Proctor decides to die, instead of signing a confession that would have been a lie, she does not try to fight his decision, but shows respect for his good and just decision when she says, “Now it’s okay.” God forbid, I take it away! “This shows that not only hers, but also her husband’s moral play a very important role.
Of all the characters in The Crucible, Elizabeth proved to be the most moral character. In a society in which the norm is to accuse or to be accused, she decided to respect her morality and spirituality, even if that meant her disappearance. She made a decision that was good and just in her own eyes. “There are often real moral tests where people are tempted to cheat, slander or exploit, few that really succeed.” This assertion came true, especially during the witch hunt, but Elizabeth Proctor appeared as a person who managed to defend her morals and standing her ground. The lack of moral integrity shown by the characters at work creates a chain of destructive events. Because of Reverend Paris’s concern for socialism and political power, the actions of Abigail and her followers went unpunished. This puts the city of Salem in a whirlwind of lies. A domino affect affects the society charges and the accusations multiply. Abigail manages the conspiracy and receives a faithful following. This group has no respect for themselves or others. The inhabitants of the city and especially the girls danced and fed in masses. Many friends and neighbors are cynically disinherited and mercilessly executed for spiritual blindness and low morals.
In The Crucible, individual moral integrity contributes to the happy endings of Salem witch trails. John Proctor and the Reverend Hale take a firm stand against authority figures and let their morals shine through to the public eye. By alerting the public to the failure of the company, Proctor and Hale helped to stop the Mafia government. Without the rebellious attitude of some, it would have deprived many innocent victims of fundamental rights such as right of life, freedom and the pursuit of happiness.
Witchcraft Issue in The Crucible By Arthur Miller
Witchcraft is the practice of magic, especially black magic. In the play, The Crucible, by Brozo, William G. Ph.D, witchcraft is the main issue in the story. Both the Puritan environment and the past experiences of one main character established one victim of the story, even though some consider her an instigator. This character, Abigail Williams, is regarded as a victim because of her love affair, society, and the way she was upraised.
One reason how Abigail is a victim is because of her love affair. Not only did she lose her so-called lover, he ended up hating her. She also lost her childhood “innocence” in the town’s eyes. While this was wrong for both sides of the relationship, however, Mr. Proctor is a married adult. Mr. Proctor can be seen as an instigator in this situation, for example when Abigail and John Proctor were talking about their past affair, it is shown that he gave her false hope. Abigail asks “Do you tell me you’ve never looked up at my window?” and he responds “I may have looked up”. This shows that Abigail is victimized by John Procter, even if she doesn’t interpret it that way. Even though Abigail may have misinterpreted John Proctor’s actions, adultery is a major sin that can lead to death in the Puritan faith. Abigail craved the love that she didn’t get since her parents died, and her uncle didn’t show forth any. For this reason, she went to someone who would give it to her, which would be John Proctor. In addition to her love affair, Abigail is a victim of society. Throughout the play, Abigail was put to blame for all the witchcraft threats that happened. The situation was beyond control and one person should not be blamed for all the incidents. In addition to this, witchcraft threats were already occurring in this area, it just got out of hand. While Abigail wasn’t entirely innocent, she really doesn’t know any other way to act.
Lastly, Abigail is a victim because of the way she was upraised. With her parent’s lives being taken from Indians smashing their heads, this scarred her internally. For example, Abigail says, “I saw Indians smash my dear parents’ heads on the pillow next to mine, and I have seen some reddish work done at night, and I can make you wish you had never seen the sun go down”. Because most children should never think anything like this, it shows that this incident traumatized her at a young age. She was surrounded in this environment her whole life, so she didn’t know any other way. Abigail also lacks attention and care, who was brought up by her uncle, Reverend Parris. Because of this upbringing, she didn’t know any other way to act, even if defending herself would include lying and the death of others.
All in all, Abigail Williams is known as a victim in this play because of her love affair, society, and the way she was upraised. Even though many think that Abigail is an instigator, if the storyline is looked into deeper, it shows that she is a victim.