This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Crucible Essay

623 words - 3 pages

Motifs
Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, or literary devices that can help to develop and inform the text’s major themes.
Empowerment
The witch trials empower several characters in the play who are previously marginalized in Salem society. In general, women occupy the lowest rung of male-dominated Salem and have few options in life. They work as servants for townsmen until they are old enough to be married off and have children of their own. In addition to being thus restricted, Abigail is also slave to John Proctor’s sexual whims—he strips away her innocence when he commits adultery with her, and he arouses her spiteful jealousy when he terminates their affair. Because the Puritans’ greatest fear is the defiance of God, Abigail’s accusations of witchcraft and devil-worship immediately command the attention of the court. By aligning herself, in the eyes of others, with God’s will, she gains power over ...view middle of the document...

Giles Corey and Proctor respond in kind, and Putnam soon joins in, creating a chorus of indictments even before Hale arrives. The entire witch trial system thrives on accusations, the only way that witches can be identified, and confessions, which provide the proof of the justice of the court proceedings. Proctor attempts to break this cycle with a confession of his own, when he admits to the affair with Abigail, but this confession is trumped by the accusation of witchcraft against him, which in turn demands a confession. Proctor’s courageous decision, at the close of the play, to die rather than confess to a sin that he did not commit, finally breaks the cycle. The court collapses shortly afterward, undone by the refusal of its victims to propagate lies.
Symbols
Symbols are objects, characters, figures, or colors used to represent abstract ideas or concepts.
The Witch Trials and McCarthyism
There is little symbolism within The Crucible, but, in its entirety, the play can be seen as symbolic of the paranoia about communism that pervaded America in the 1950s. Several parallels exist between the House Un-American Activities Committee’s rooting out of suspected communists during this time and the seventeenth-century witch-hunt that Miller depicts in The Crucible, including the narrow-mindedness, excessive zeal, and disregard for the individuals that characterize the government’s effort to stamp out a perceived social ill. Further, as with the alleged witches of Salem, suspected Communists were encouraged to confess their crimes and to “name names,” identifying others sympathetic to their radical cause. Some have criticized Miller for oversimplifying matters, in that while there were (as far as we know) no actual witches in Salem, there were certainly Communists in 1950s America. However, one can argue that Miller’s concern in The Crucible is not with whether the accused actually are witches, but rather with the unwillingness of the court officials to believe that they are not. In light of McCarthyist excesses, which wronged many innocents, this parallel was felt strongly in Miller’s own time.

Other Essays Like The Crucible

The Crucible Essay

2148 words - 9 pages buried next to Dimmesdale. The two share a single tombstone, which bears a scarlet “A.” The scarlet letter is very similar to the crucible, they both cover sin, lust, evil and punishment. They both relate to the salem witch trials yet the scarlet letter focuses on adultery while the crucible is based on witch craft. The people in the two stories live in a puritan society. Task Four. Girl at centre of St Kilda photo scandal alleges affair

The Crucible, John Proctor Essay

569 words - 3 pages In the Crucible John Proctor has changed a lot and his whole character changes because he fight for the girls to be accused of making false accusations and he finally gives in and turns against the towns people. The girls being brought to justice motivates John and makes him fight for his wife and everybody else in the town. John Proctor does not deserve his punishment in the Crucible. John Proctor makes the right choices in fighting for is town

The Crucible 10

621 words - 3 pages The Crucible deals with witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts which shows utter chaos and hysteria in the town. Many were accused of witchcraft and died because of lies. Elizabeth Proctor was one of many who were accused. She was accused by Abigail Williams, the person whom Elizabeth fired for cheating with her husband, John Proctor. John was a well respected farmer in Salem, who was outraged when Elizabeth was arrested for accusations of

Arthur Miller's "The Crucible"

1088 words - 5 pages rebellion, or uprising, which is taking place in their own society. In Arthur Miller's The Crucible, the town of Salem goes into hysterics with the outbreak of witchery. Each member of the society is so worried about who is a witch, who is with the devil, who signed a pact with Lucifer. They are not able to see beyond their accusations. They are not able to see their entire society crumbling into bits of clay. The people of Salem lose the trust and

The Crucible- Essay

691 words - 3 pages Arthur Miller's The Crucible Essay by Aleksander Abildgaard Write a short summary of the play ‘The Crucible’: The Crucible takes place in the small town of Salem, Massachusetts, in the spring of 1692. The people of Salem is almost obsessively Christian, and therefore, in their own eyes, righteous. The towns traditions makes having fun an utter sin, and even thinking of not going to church regularly, brings your devotion to Christianity

The Crucible - Thomas Putnam

719 words - 3 pages Thomas Putnam plays a major role in the Salem witch hunt in Arthur Miller's The Crucible. Inheriting a handsome amount of property makes Putnam a wealthy person; however, it doesn't seem to satisfy his ambition. After the town terribly rejected Putnam's brother-in-law, Bayley, Putnam's bitterness has increased. Finally his prodigious involvement in the relentless accusations places him in the center of the spot light, making him a salient

Integrity in The Crucible

927 words - 4 pages ?What is left when honor is lost?? Publilius Syrus' quote, though dating from 100 B.C., still seems pertinent to our era (Quotations). Many people still feel that once integrity is lost they are nothing and many are willing to stand up to keep their integrity. Without integrity, we are nothing. During the time that Arthur Miller wrote his most famous play, The Crucible, innocent men and women are accused of having Communist leanings. Their whole

The Crucible Summary

1328 words - 6 pages Abigail and Putnam. Then there was the hysteria of those who just wanted to blame everything on witches even if they did not exist, like Judge Danforth and Reverend Parris. The hysteria during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 was caused by the selfishness and greed of John Proctor, Abigail, Danforth, Reverend Parris, and Mary Warren all whose actions led to the unnecessary deaths of many. Act one of The Crucible by Arthur Miller, the jealousy of

The Crucible: Relevant Historical Allegory

1691 words - 7 pages The Crucible The Crucible: Relevant Historical Allegory “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller is a historically motivated play presenting a shocking view of human nature and of what a community of otherwise vibrant and civilized people of faith and moral principle are capable of when insecurity, fear, prejudice and superstition are introduced. Arthur Miller is concerned about what he perceives to be a weakness in the moral fabric of America

The Crucible: Emotion Vs. Reason

384 words - 2 pages The Crucible: Emotion Vs. ReasonMany different themes are presented in Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible. Of those many themes, one of the more dominant ones is emotion versus reason. This theme is found throughout the play. It occurs when there is an internal struggle between the better decision or what is right and what is felt or done on the spur of the moment.In The Crucible, emotion sometimes prevailed over reason. This is evident in Act

Arthur Miller's the Crucible Fire

1436 words - 6 pages Dylan Buchman Mrs. Patterson American Lit. / Rhet., Per. 2 12 December 2008 Miller’s Fire of The Crucible In many well-written literary works, authors relay their messages to their audience through rhetoric strategies, and some of the best rhetoric can be found in Arthur Miller’s 1952 play, The Crucible. Miller uses imagery of fire to convey many different messages throughout the play, and in doing so, he increases its effect on the

Related Papers

The Crucible Essay

1304 words - 6 pages The Crucible is one of the most bizarre accounts of a historical event to date. The naïveté of the townspeople leads them down a road of madness and confusion, led by a shameless Puritan girl. Abigail Williams was a ruthless girl who showed no mercy upon accusing her victims of witchcraft. Knowing the entire town of Salem would believe her and the other girls, she would not hesitate at charging anyone she wished with the crime of the Devil’s

The Crucible Essay

539 words - 3 pages The Crucible I think that Abigail is the reason that the Salem witch trials happened. I think that all of the girls in Salem were lying about seeing the devil in those people and were just doing what Abigail wanted. Abigail controlled the other girls through fear.I think that it started when Abigail worked for John Proctor and his wife because Abigail and John ended up sleeping together once. After they had sex I think that Abigail fell

The Crucible Essay 1055 Words

1055 words - 5 pages Many people throughout history have fallen to the seduction of power, a very tempting and alluring concept. George Washington, Napoleon, and Hitler are just a few of these particular people who have absorbed themselves in the appeal of power. In The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, several characters display the same characteristics of these famous leaders. Throughout the entire play, Abigail becomes insanely obsessed with milking power from her past

The Crucible, Essay

1224 words - 5 pages “The Crucible” is a play written by Arthur Miller in 1953. The play is set in the town of Salem, Massachusetts in 1692 during the Salem witch trials. It can be seen that paranoia has consumed the village of Salem, this leads to the deconstruction of the community. The main characters in the play Abigail and Proctor have had an affair this leads to conflict between the two characters when Proctor no longer wants to carry on the affair. Abigail