• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"Societies often tend to suppress individual freedom in order to maintain social order" 'Examine the key characters and their beliefs in The Crucible in the light of this statement'

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Crucible "Societies often tend to suppress individual freedom in order to maintain social order" 'Examine the key characters and their beliefs in The Crucible in the light of this statement' A crucible is a vessel in which metals are heated, melted down and purified. The play 'The Crucible', by Arthur Miller shows a community, which ignites and burns with the accusations of witchcraft, mass hysteria and retribution. Set in the small town of Salem Massachusetts in 1692, it explores the struggle of one man with his conscience and his eventual purification. A fictional play based on McCarthyism, a dark chapter in American history. Miller uses 'The Crucible' as a mirror to reflect his views on the anti-communist hysteria inspired by Senator Joseph McCarthy's "witch hunts" in the U.S. Reissue. By using the historical and controversial issue of the Salem Witch Trials, Arthur Miller's play presents an allegory for the events in modern-day America. It exploits these past events to criticize the moments in humankind's history when reason and fact became clouded by unreasonable fears and the desire to put the blame for societies dilemmas on others. ...read more.

Middle

Hale would be very happy if Proctor confessed because he would, and does, blame himself for Proctor's hanging "I would save your husbands life, for if he is taken I count myself his murderer" he tells Elizabeth. He came to the town believing that he knew all about witchcraft, what he did not realise was that it can destroy lives whether it is fact or fiction. By the end of the play he realises that all he has been saying is untrue and the law uses it as evidence "It is mistaken law that leads you to sacrifice". Hale feels guilty and responsible for Proctor's sentence to death. which is why he asks the court to postpone the hangings "Excellency, if you postpone a week . . ." so he will have time to prove to the court that they should not be hung and try to put right what he has done wrong, but it is too late. The only chance he has of saving Proctor's life is to encourage him to confess, so he turns to Elizabeth" let you not be mistaken your duty as I mistook my own. ...read more.

Conclusion

Abigail abandons Tituba, and accuses her of "sending her spirit on me in church; she makes me laugh at prayer", and Abigail also says Tituba "comes to me every night to go and drink blood". Abigail reacts like this only to save her from being suspected of witchery. At the end of Scene One, many community members are accused of consorting with the devil. These names were given by all of the girls present that took part in the ritual in the woods, in an attempt to return to God and to be declared bewitched. This was a common reaction that many had when accused of witchery. The clear destruction of Salem's social order was due to fear of the unknown, and mass confusion. The inclination that Salem fell victim to, was the cause of a great tragedy, which saw twenty townspeople hung at the hands of the state. The Crucible written by Arthur Miller is a story of a great catastrophe which highlights a "free man's courageous and never-ending fight against mass pressures to make him bow down in conformity"(intro. -x) and shows how hysteria can be used for evil purposes in an atmosphere were there is a belief in freedom and right of disagreement. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Arthur Miller section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Arthur Miller essays

  1. To what extent can 'The Crucible' be viewed as a Classical Tragedy?

    Parris wishes the hangings to occur as this way he can get rid of his enemies and increase his power simultaneously, as minister of the church he is incorruptible, 'The man's ordained, therefore the light of God is in him' and so in times of strife the people of Salem would turn to him for God's light.

  2. "The Crucible" - John Proctor says, "I'll tell you what's walking Salem, vengeance is ...

    He says that he does not wish to leap to withcraft for the cause of Betty's state when he says, "Let him look to medicine and put out all thought of unnatural causes here. There be none." We believe that he is worried about his daughter and does not wish

  1. Crucible confession

    doing was wrong and now does not wish to be in that situation again. The sign of firmness that he gives Mary (someone he is the boss of) and the firmness he gives Abigail when she tries to re-light their relationship can be compared.

  2. Explore key moments of tension within Act 2 and 3 of "The Crucible". How ...

    It suggests that there is no warmth and this is echoed in the state of their marriage as there appears to be little affection between the two characters. Consequently the audience is encouraged to feel sympathetic towards the couple as the tension between them is obvious.

  1. Is John Proctor a hero in his stand against evil in his society or ...

    I have my Ruth to watch. Good morning Mr Proctor. So we know that there is a general fear of Proctor in the village. We find out in Act 1 that Proctor has committed the sin of adultery with Abigail.

  2. Intolerance of Authority Versus Individual Freedom and Integrity "The Crucible" by Arther Miller ...

    cannot, they will turn on me". Marry is afraid that her friends will accuse her of being a witch like they have easily done to so many others. This is the braking point for Marry, an opportunity to decide for good or evil.

  1. The Crucible is a fictional retelling of events in American history surrounding the Salem ...

    The technique of dramatic irony is being used by Miller here because the audience knows that John has already admitted to having an affair but the characters i.e. Elizabeth, does not. This means that the court knows that Elizabeth is lying, which isn't a good thing because before Elizabeth entered

  2. Explore the dilemma of conscience that Proctor faces in the play the Crucible.

    It is no secret. But God I surely love" Because his thoughts on the reverend reflect on him as being "wrong", he is entitled to his opinion. He knows he loves God and that is all that matters. But because of this strong and unfamiliar opinion, he is seen

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work