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The Crucible - Crucible Ideas….

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Deena Shakir Crucible Ideas.... Richard Watts Jr. describes the striking similarity between the Salem witch trials and the McCarthy Era as a "struggle between the rights of freeman and the mass efforts to destroy them under the guise of defending decency." All good writing conveys a strong message for the reader to take away, and effectively apply to his everyday life. In the novel The Crucible, author Arthur Miller uses 17th Puritan society, and the Salem witch trials as a vehicle to make a strong political statement about the nature of conformity in an overly hysterical society, and the fundamental struggle man faces to retain moral righteousness in the face of a cruel world. Written in the heart of the McCarthy Era, The Crucible makes sweeping statements about the nature of society during a crisis, and how people deal with the introduction of beliefs that differ from their traditional way of thought. Claiming the people of his society are just as intolerant as the Puritans, Miller desperately pleads with them to learn from their mistakes, and not persecute others based on the nature of their beliefs. ...read more.


. a wind," and then suddenly see a "bird . . . stretching her claws." Through this scene, the girls appear succeed in showing the court officials that Mary herself is in league with the devil. By daring to do what she knows is right and opposing Abigail's group, Mary Warren puts herself in grave danger. Unfortunately, lacking the inner strength of John Procter, and Giles Corey, Mary gives in to the pressure and accuses John of being the "Devil's man," revealing not only her weakness in moral integrity but also the way in which society demands conformity, even sometimes to the extent where lives are compensated. Interestingly enough, after Mary gives in to the influence of Abigail and her group, she becomes part of 'society' and goes on to punish John Proctor. Unlike most of the court officials, and the girls, the Christ figures in The Crucible, such as Giles Corey and John Procter, refuse to conform to society's way of thinking, and, despite horrific persecution, retain their righteousness in the midst of flying accusations. Their morals are pushed to the breaking point, but in the end these characters triumph, even as society sentences them to death. ...read more.


Their resolve is unique, their bravery astounding, and their legacy unending. In conclusion, it has become apparent the central conflict in The Crucible is the never-ending struggle between an individual's moral beliefs and the demands of society. Through the actions, reactions, and thoughts of the court officials, the girls, and the Christ-figures, Miller clearly describes man's perpetual struggle to retain moral rectitude in the face of an unjust society, and how persecution and conformity are inevitable byproducts of this conflict. Miller's analysis is just as relevant today as in 1953, or 1692. Whether its an American Sikh having to decide whether or not they should wear their turban, or whether its Michael Jordan having to decide whether or not he should give in to the present societal demand for him to come out of retirement at the expense of his family and reputation, humanity constantly fights the battle of social conformity. The decisions we make in these types of situations very much form the very backbone of our identity. To ensure we always make the right decision in the face of societal pressure to conform, let us always follow the advice John gives to Mary Warren, and "do that which is good... [and] remember the angel, what he said to the boy, [and] hold on to it; there is our rock." ...read more.

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