Conformity V. Protest In The Crucible

912 words - 4 pages

Conformity is an idea that has plagued mankind for ages; it is the question that we as human beings ask ourselves everyday: should we do what is expected of us, or should be follow our heart, and do what we believe is right? In Arthur Miller's The Crucible, the idea of conformity versus protest is an underlying theme that continues throughout the whole play. The characters conforming to the church, or turning their backs on it emphasize the concept of conformity v. protest in The Crucible. The once tightly knit, church loving town of Salem turned into a bitter and torn apart town once the subject of witchcraft began to consume them all. Instead of pulling together, they pointed fingers, accused their friends and neighbors, and turned their backs on the church. Each character questioned whether it was better to vocalize their own opinions and beliefs, or lie about their own "relations with the devil" in order to survive. These rumors happened because people wanted to alter the blame from themselves to anybody else; and behind all these rumors was a seventeen-year-old girl named Abigail Williams. The Puritan religion states that young girls are to have no rights at all, so it is somewhat ironic that everybody believes Abigail, one of the first girls to admit to witchcraft, when she claims, "I want to open myself! I want the light of God, I want the sweet love of Jesus! I danced for the Devil; I saw him; I wrote in his book; I go back to Jesus; I kiss His hand. I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil!" (848). Another girl, Betty, Reverend Parris' daughter, continues the cry with, "I saw George Jacobs with the Devil! I saw Goody Howe with the Devil!" (849). It gave each of the children an incredible sense of power when the whole town of Salem listened to, and believed every word they said. Deep behind all the hustle and bustle of witchcraft, there stood one man who preferred to protest the church rather than conform to it, a man who did not believe the girls were telling the truth about witchcraft, and a man who did not sacrifice his own opinions and beliefs in order to save his life. That man was John Proctor, and he was in no way a saint. He had committed adultery with Abigail, and had no intent to involve himself with the witch trials until his own wife was accused. He forced his servant, Mary Warren, who was one...

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