Fear and Manipulation in Arthur Miller's The Crucible
Fear holds a great control over any mortal human-being through daunting and restricted words, most commonly seen while anyone is under pressure. While being controlled over fear, you may come to realize that you are being manipulated to the possibilities of a threatened punishment and may also be mislead by lies. Arthur Miller’s classic novel, The Crucible takes place in Salem, Massachusetts, where a lot of times fear would be used to control anyone to blame another of witchcraft. In The Crucible, Arthur Miller elucidates this through Elizabeth Proctor, Abigail Williams, and Mary Warren, that fear holds a great torment on the truth.
Elizabeth Proctor is used in The Crucible to illustrate the powerful strength of what manipulation has over any living mortal. Typically an honest person under their religious faith would believe in telling the truth, but not while having an evil thoughts being whispered in your ear disguised as manipulation. Already knowledgeable of her husband’s previous affair with Abigail Williams, Elizabeth fears of ruining the Proctor name in the town of Salem, Massachusetts due to John’s affair and since John is a high authority figure in the church, it would ruining his name and people would not respect him as a preacher anymore. So in the process of saving the Proctor name, regardless of John admitting the truth by making the court aware of the recent affair he had with Abigail, Elizabeth denies those allegations because she fears that John will be upset to the utmost point, so she sacrifices herself to protect the Proctor name, even though she fears that she hopes that she made the right decision, as shown when she tried to clarify all statements before she says them when she looks over at John Proctor to see what he wants her to say, but she feels obligated to defend the Proctor name, as she is feared of how John would react had she not protect the name (Miller 113). Manipulation prevents the Proctor name from becoming a sham and helps Abigail look more honest and trustworthy.
Arthur Miller’s theme of his novel is also elucidated through Mary Warren, during a conversation between her and John Proctor. Proctor asks Mary Warren to enlighten the court trial in the following day of Abigail Williams’ schemes and plots, in this case would be when Abigail takes note of a poppet that has a needle inside of the stomach area, similar to where Abigail was apparently with a needle and claimed that Elizabeth Proctor’s, John Proctor’s wife, soul had stabbed her. Even though John Proctor wants Mary to tell the court what she saw, it is not easy for her because on the contrary, Mary is afraid of the possibility of Abigail betraying her and starting false accusations about her as well. Mary Warren is very aware of Abigail’s schemes, but is very skeptical of revealing them to the court, as she fears a great deal of punishment would be received from Abigail and the other towns...