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'In The Crucible Arthur Miller explores the nature of good and evil and the complex relationships between the individual and society.' Discuss.

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Introduction

The Crucible Written By Arthur Miller 'In The Crucible Arthur Miller explores the nature of good and evil and the complex relationships between the individual and society.' Discuss. The Crucible, by Arthur Miller depicts the hysteria and injustice that can come from a group of people leading an example within a society. However, during the storyline of this novel, many complex situations and themes derive from the main plot, branching out into various different, abstract issues and topics. One of these themes is that of the nature of good and evil within the society. Arthur Miller explores this theme and relates it to the novel within the storyline. He also depicts the complex relationships between the individual and society, and how the individual can be perceived differently within the two instances. These topics act as the platform for varying opinions, mine of which I shall be discussing in this essay. Many might believe that the classification of the terms good and evil have drastically changed over time, that is, from the 17th Century to present day 21st Century. However, perhaps the definitions of the terms have not changed, but our perceptions of them have. For example, in modern society, good is defined by the Australian Pocket Oxford Dictionary as: having the right or desired qualities; adequate, whereas evil is: to be morally bad; wicked. ...read more.

Middle

Therefore we would have to conclude that any pacts with the devil, were morally bad, and were forbidden, or not accepted by the society. As displayed in the punishment for such crimes of witchcraft, being hanged public before your own society. From this, I would have to suggest that perhaps our interpretations of the terms good and evil have not changed drastically over time, but have instead evolved to take on a different nature, or in this case, adapt it's meaning for the changes within societies. In the times of the Salem witch hunting trials, their way of life was different compared with that of todays. They were extremely superstitious and witchcraft, or more specifically, making pacts with the Devil, was an outlawed practice. With Arthur Miller exploring the themes of good and evil within his novel, The Crucible, we come to learn that certain meaning over time may have to be adapted to suit our own requirements throughout a society. In the times of the Salem witch hunting trials, in around 17th Century, witchery was a horrific crime seemingly, one in which they became obsessed in the abundance of the topic. It may have been that, before this time of the witch hunting trials, that the word 'devil' and 'witch' were slowly incorporated into the understood meaning of 'evil'. ...read more.

Conclusion

By signing the statement, society will know it was John Proctor who was 'evil' and this he does not wish to do, as he is (was) seen as a 'good' man. From this we may say, that although someone may perceive them self to be evil - the individual perspective, the members of their village, however may see them to be rather good of heart - the perspective from the society. Within the novel, Arthur Miller explores many issues, setting them in the period of the Salem witch hunting trials. He looks at the sides of 'good' and 'evil' within their society and the difficult relations amid the individual and the public. Perhaps, from understanding The Crucible, we can possibly infer that we have adapted the terms 'good' and 'evil' to relate to our society. We may also find that the perceptions by the 'individual', that is your self, and by the 'society', may be completely different, especially in relation to being characterized as 'good' and 'evil'. It may also be the case, that we perceive someone differently 'as' an 'individual', that we see them as a member of society. From the novel, many presumptions can be made - if your have an open mind, as it explores many themes of 'good' and 'evil' and the complex relationships between the individual and society. By Emma Bright ...read more.

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