Comparing The Grapes Of Wrath, By John Steinbeck And The Crucible, By Arthur Miller

1510 words - 6 pages

The Grapes of Wrath, written by John Steinbeck, is a novel depicting life during the Dust Bowl, while The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller is a semi-fiction version of the Salem Witch Trials. Despite these vast differences they both share three main character dependant themes. The sorrow of regret, the destruction of one’s religion, and the greed of some at the expense of many.
The sadness that emits from sorrow is one of the main occurrences in these novels. The Crucible is a story about a false accusation of civilians committing witchcraft which ends up creating massive hysteria due to the trials having a misled judge. Reverend Hale is the main priest of Salem which is the setting of the The Crucible. Judge Danforth is hired to inspect the accused individuals. Early in the story it is known he actually believed these individuals were guilty due to his biased speaking when talking to the Proctor family, “Do you know your Commandments Elizabeth?...And you, Mister?”. After Reverend Hale does his damage, he starts to see what he has truly done, that he has been blindly working for evil. “Why, it is all simple. I come to do the Devil’s work.” (Miller 131). This is depicting that he has fully recognized to extent what he’s been doing, and that it’s wrongdoing. Support for this is from when he starts making objections in the courtroom. “I denounce these proceedings, I quit this court.” (Miller 20). He even agrees with Proctor’s accusation; that Abigail is liar. This shows that he does understand what is really happening. “I believe him! Abigail has always struck me false!” (Miller 114). There was nothing Reverend Hale could do after he had supplied the accusers with power, if hale proclaimed he was lying he would have been accused as a witch as well. This kind of problem also occurs in The Grapes of Wrath, but in much practical manner. Uncle John who is one of the main characters refuses to get his pregnant wife a doctor when she was complaining of stomach problems. Though as a natural result, he felt sorry for what he did. “Nearly all the time the barrier of loneliness cut Uncle John from people...One could not talk to him then, for he ran away, or if confronted hid within himself and peeked out of frightened eyes. The death of his wife, followed by months of being alone, had marked him with guilt and shame and had left an unbreaking loneliness on him” (Steinbeck 96). The sorrow that emits from regret is an important theme because every character in both novels makes bad choices. But all the characters have different ways of counteracting the emotions from them; this without doubt brings distinction among the characters.
Another important theme is the destruction of one’s religion. In The Crucible, Parris is one of the most important figures of the village and is required to follow the religious rules of the church. But despite this strain, he refuses to. His actions and ideas show that he is only using his religious stance to maintain social...

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