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The Crucible Essay

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Julie Gu 09-15-08 Second Period Reflection on The Crucible In the highly poignant novel The Crucible written by Arthur Miller, the legendary event of the Salem Witch Trials was portrayed in four scenes. The story was set in a small village of Massachusetts in the year of 1962. A group of young girls, namely Abigail Williams, had begun a series of accusations charging numerous villagers of practicing witchcraft. Thus a period of pure hysteria had been initiated as the accused ones started to name other innocent Puritans out of fear. Within merely a month, almost half of the entire Salem was indicted for being witches, and many were hanged after being forced to confess the non-existing crime of exercising witchcraft such as in the case of Giles Corey. Miller was able to demonstrate the strictness of the Puritan society and the weakness of human beings. The historical account of the Salem Witch Trials was closely correlated with the Red Scare occurred during the McCarthy era. ...read more.


Similarly in The Crucible, the ultimate objective was to forbidden any beliefs or actions that were unrelated to Puritanism. The Puritans were so focused on the goal that no one cared to logically consider the accusations. Arthur Miller had portrayed the Puritans as absolutely intolerant of non-Puritan beliefs and actions. They looked upon the moral codes of Puritanism as the same as the societal laws. Committing a sin against God eventually meant committing a fatal crime. The name of Puritans also suggested the concept of maintaining complete purity in every corner of the Puritan society. The exercise of witchcraft was seen as an activity that could possibly endanger that absolute purity or leave a "stain" in the society. They also opposed to any radical changes that might produce doubts on the beliefs of Puritanism. In Miller's society, nationalism and unconditional loyalty to both the country and the government was considered to be the key in sustaining the United States. ...read more.


The characters were no longer being held in a limited space but were instead being released to wander freely in the community. This deemphasized the concept that Miller had hoped to convey to the readers. The movie made the Puritan society appear to be lenient on the villagers when in reality no deviation was allowed anywhere in the village of Salem. The novel of The Crucible which depicted the historical incident of the Salem Witch Trials in a Puritan society was overall a sensational story. Arthur Miller, the author of the play, had succeeded in portraying the human weakness of fear of death with a number of characters. The effect of hysteria having on the minds of the people was also demonstrated in the Red Scare during the McCarthy era and the post 9/11 period. The reason behind the continuous repetition of the accusations of innocent civilians was the idea of retaining purity in the country. As a matter of fact, the use of the limited stage to present the play was for the purpose of further accentuating the religious intolerance in the Puritan society. ...read more.

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