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

Greed and Envy in Arthur Miller's "The Crucible"

Extracts from this document...


Discuss the importance of envy and greed in the play. To what extent are these responsible for the Salem witch-hunt? Arthur Miller exposes and criticizes various aspects of society in his play, "The Crucible". Envy and greed are present in the daily lives of characters such as Abigail Williams, John Proctor, and Reverend Parris. Among many feelings that are also crucial to the play, envy and greed can be held responsible for the Salem witch-hunt to certain extents, since they both act in the relationships between characters. The Puritan members of the society of Salem is, ironically, consumed by a longing to possess something achieved by another. Model figures such as Reverend Parris are concerned with land acquired by neighbours and are obsessed with maintaining a position of power. ...read more.


. . You drank a charm to kill John Proctor's wife! You drank a charm to kill Goody Proctor!" (p. 19). The girls' desires to seduce married men was a starting point for revenge and hatred. Alongside with envy, greed is highly relevant in "The Crucible". Feelings of self-importance and pride are directly related to avarice. Keeping a good reputation was vital to all inhabitants of Salem. Abigail Williams' lies, Reverend Parris' thirst for wealth and power and, especially, John Proctor's death are resultant of their greed. Abigail's love for Elizabeth's husband drives her to the point of selfishly accusing innocent women of witchcraft to protect her reputation and pursue John Proctor: "[Abigail] thinks to dance with me on my wife's grave!" ...read more.


Other feelings such as fear, pride, and honour are common to those of a restricted society like Salem and can be more responsible for the havoc. The former emotions affect the society of Salem as a whole, unlike greed and envy that affect some characters personally. Consequently, it is reasonable to say that the causes for the Salem witch-hunt varies according to each reader. One may strongly discuss that envy and greed were responsible for chaos in Salem while another can, just as strongly, defend his opinion that fear and pride, for example, are mostly to blame. All in all, evidence and examples show that envy and greed can be held responsible for the Salem witch-hunt to certain extents. These feelings may not be the main principles to blame but are, nonetheless, present in "The Crucible" and do influence some characters, aggravating the already turbulent society of Salem. Lorena Baroni B�sio L6 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature 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 International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. The Crucible Essay

    After the horrifying occurrence of 9/11, suspicion was once again aroused as individuals who resembled the appearance or even qualities of the attackers were being distrusted. Innocent people were being shunned and discriminated against from the rest of the society.

  2. Treatment of escapism in A Street car named desire by Tennessee Williams ...

    Newman never accepted the fact that his son was a failure, and had always lived in the illusion that Buddy was doing very well. We can see a parallel between Newman?s elusive approach to his son and Willy?s to his son Biff when he finds that Charley?s son, Bernard has become a Supreme Court advocate.

  1. To what extent was President Richard Nixon responsible in the Watergate scandal in 1972-1974?

    up is used in the sense of covering up illegal/ criminal activities then it?s illegal?[7], he also kept repeating the fact that he did not believe they were covering up ?any criminal activity?. ?I didn't think of it as a cover-up, I didn't intend to cover-up.

  2. Faith in "The Crucible" and "Night"

    In Wiesel?s memoir, the Jewish people under oppression from the German SS and Gestapo began to degrade their mental faith. They asked themselves why ? if God existed and supported them ? could something so terrible have happened as what occurred in the concentration camps.

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