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Feminism In The Crucible Essay

1204 words - 5 pages

In Arthur Miller’s, The Crucible, feminism was not only allowed, but encouraged. This book demonstrates countless examples of feminism, and displays life as a puritan woman during the Salem Witch Trials. The definition of feminism is the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.(Feminism-Webster) During this time, women were treated unequal to the men, and looked down upon. They were held to very high standards, and had a lot expected from them. No women was allowed to have opinions, or feel emotion about anything. This is feminism at its best.

The life of a Puritan woman in The Crucible was very simple. She was the keeper of the home, and the children. Woman weren’t allowed to get jobs like the men had because they weren’t considered qualified enough, or as good at the job as the men. There were certain expectations that a Puritan woman had to live up to. One of them being the “perfect” housewife. As a housewife, the woman was responsible for everything at the home. The man would go to his job, and she would stay home and take care of the kids all day. When the husband got home from work, she was expected to have dinner on the table ready to eat, the house to be sparkling clean, have the kids taken care of, and make sure her husband was happy.(Miller 47) This was a daily routine for basically all Puritan woman during the Salem Witch Trials.

In The Crucible, women were not as respected as the men were. One example of this is Rebecca Nurse. Rebecca was considered the “perfect” puritan. She was one of the most respected people in Salem, and rarely did anything wrong. Even though Rebecca was all of these things, the men still didn’t listen to her. In Act 1, Rebecca was trying to convince the men that the girls in the woods weren’t doing witchcraft, and they were just fooling around, which is what they were really doing, but they didn’t listen to her because she was a woman. If a man was making that point and saying those things, most likely the other men would’ve respected him and listened to what he was saying.(Miller 26)

Another example of the differences in respect between men and women in The Crucible is John Proctor and Abigail Williams. Abigail and John had an affair while she was working for the Proctor’s, and when John told the judges in court about it, they immediately thought differently of Abigail. If Elizabeth Proctor would’ve confirmed John’s accusations, than Abigail never would’ve been respected in Salem again. John’s good name would’ve been partially ruined, but he would still have respect from everyone in the town. Abigail’s name, on the other hand, would’ve been completely ruined. She would’ve been known as the “whore” or the “harlot” in Salem. Abigail and John both committed the same sin, but just because she’s a woman, her good reputation would’ve been abolished.(Miller 103)

While reading The Crucible, you’ll notice that men...

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