The Crucible Essay: Themes

August 26, 2020 by Essay Writer

Throughout The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, many themes develop. Some of the themes contradict each other, and some of them overlap. And no one of them completely explains the play. You’ll find that some ring more true than others, but you can find evidence to support all. We watch feelings of one character to another develop, take notes on proofs as they are presented, and listen to the views as the outsiders look onto the lives of the main characters.

What is the “heat” between Abigail and Proctor?

Is it true love, or is it just the lust of the flesh, or maybe some of both? Abigail remembers “how you clutched my back behind your house, and sweated like a stallion whenever I come near. ” This sure looks like lust, but later, in tears, she pleads with him: “I look for John Proctor, who took me from my sleep, and put knowledge into my heart! I never knew what pretense Salem was, I never knew the lying lessons I was taught by all these Christian women, and their covenanted men! And now you bid me, tear the light out of my eyes? I will not , I can not!

You loved me, John Proctor, and whatever sin it is, you loved me yet! John, pity me, pity me! ” The earnestness of such a speech, is hard to doubt.

As for Proctor, we hardly know him at the beginning of the story, but compared to the others, he seems honest, even though it makes him, and others suffer. As the story progresses, we have more of a chance to examine his heart, for it soon emerges as the hero of his tragedy. But in the beginning, we just watch, and take notes of how intense their feelings are for each other, and watch them, for their further developments.

As every act is studded with moments seemingly innocent, and unavoidable, Parris takes the first small step toward the horror, which comes about. And a word here about “proof,” it is the most troublesome issue in the play. How do you prove witchcraft? Everyone seems to have a different answer. Look at Goody Putnam’s speech, “They were murdered, Mr. Parris! , And mark that proof. Mark it! Last night my Ruth was ever so close to their little spirits; I know it, I know it, Sir.

For how else is she stuck dumb, and how would the power of darkness stop her mouth? It is a marvelous sign, Mr. Parris! ” Later on Reverend Hale, the expert on witchcraft, will say, ” We can not look to superstition in this. The Devil is Precise. ” But the question of what constitutes proof of witchcraft, and what if the mere superstition is never resolved in the play, and Arthur Miller is almost totally silent about it. So we too, had to reserve judgement, and just take note of these “proofs”, as they are presented.

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