Hysteria's Destruction (Thematic Analysis Of The Crucible)

2233 words - 9 pages

In Arthur Miller's The Crucible, hysteria and its effects become the main focus of the story. To understand the ideas in Miller's play it is important to first know what hysteria is. By definition, hysteria is a state of intense agitation, anxiety, or excitement, especially when manifested by large groups or segments of society. It becomes apparent in Miller's story that hysteria was the catalyst for the nineteen deaths in the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. It is also important to understand that this tragic story of the past is retold with implications and criticisms of Miller's present time. Faced with the persecutions of the McCarthy era, Miller, through The Crucible, conveys an allegorical warning with a meaning for his time and times to come. Miller's story conveys how the effects of hysteria and paranoia can weaken and even destroy a society. Through his story Miller announces to the masses to keep Salem's history from repeating itself, to protest against McCarthyism, and to always denounce unjust persecution.The Crucible begins when Reverend Samuel Parris finds his niece, Abigail Williams, his daughter, Betty, and his Barbados slave Tituba dancing "like heathen" in the forest. Problems arise when Betty and the other girls begin to become mysteriously ill. Rumors of witchcraft begin to fly when the illnesses can only be explained by "unnatural" causes. As the rumors spread about the devil, Abigail goes along with the charade and blames Tituba for forcing her to join the devil. Faced with execution Tituba has no choice but to confess her allegiance with Satan. She begins to accuse others of the same sending the town into a frenzy and massive witch-hunt causing many to be sent to jail and forced to either confess or to be hanged. In the midst of all the deception one man by the name of John Proctor knows the truth. John knows that Abigail and her friends are lying. However, he is afraid to take a stand because eight months before he had an affair with Abigail. Fearing to have the reputation of a "lecher" Proctor is thrown into a fight with himself to find the courage to speak the truth. When Abigail accuses his wife out of revenge, John has no choice but to risk his "name" and save his wife. The story reaches a fever pitch in the courtroom when John Proctor finally denounces Abigail and her crusade, but Abigail has the court by the throat. She is able to turn around and get Proctor accused of participating in the devil's work. The court finds Proctor guilty and he is arrested and sentenced to hang. The hysteria of all the action begins to take its greatest toll when respectable people begin to be accused and arrested like the Proctors and Rebecca Nurse. Fed up with the destruction their society is taking the citizens become militant and displeased. It then becomes obvious that paranoia and hysteria has flooded the town, threatening to abolish society and even life itself.In order to understand The Crucible it is also important to understand the...

Find Another Essay On Hysteria's Destruction (Thematic analysis of the Crucible)

Analysis of The Crucible by Arthur Miller

2173 words - 9 pages Analysis of The Crucible by Arthur Miller “ The Crucible” is a play that was written by Arthur Miller in the 1950s. The play was originally produced in 1953 at a time where McCarthyism was at its peak. This was a time of American paranoia when Americans believed that the Russians were planning start a war with them. The Americans accused members of the society of been a communist spy for the most trivial reasons. It was

Analysis of The Crucible by Arthur Miller

1604 words - 7 pages In the play The Crucible, Arthur Miller shows how a repressed Puritan town in 1692 can be turned upside down when the threat of witchcraft is taken seriously. The Puritans believe the forest is where the Devil lurks, and they are fearful of the Devil. So when Parris, the town of Salem’s Reverend, catches a group of girls dancing and magic spirits in the forest, the town suspects that some sort of witchcraft is being practiced. The girls deny

The Impact of Destruction

1188 words - 5 pages American history” (Houston x). In the novel Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston, is a traumatizing story Jeanne experienced and wrote down, to be remembered in the future of a historical context. Manzanar represented different areas of Ko Wakatsuki (Papa) and Jeanne Wakatsuki's unique personalities to bring about both destruction and growth, and simultaneously offer influence in each other's characters. The impact of

Destruction Of The Rainforest

2067 words - 8 pages a staggering rate. According to the National Academy of Science, at least 50 million acres a year are lost. This is an area the size of England, Wales and Scotland combined. At this rate, there will not be rainforests in the world in years to come.Have world leaders and traders really considered the consequences of the level of destruction happening around the tropical countries on the World as a whole, let alone the local areas themselves? I do

Destruction of the Bosniaks

752 words - 4 pages Destruction of the Bosniaks “Although many different ethnic and religious groups had resided together for 40 years under Yugoslavia’s repressive communist government, this changed when the country began to collapse during the fall of communism in the early 1990s” (Holocaust Museum Houston). This quote is a very truthful one. Many people in this world probably have never even heard of the Bosnian Genocide. It was a very tragic time in history

Thematic Analysis of "One Day In the Life of Ivan Denisovich" by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

1452 words - 6 pages wanted to see in their camps: he is strong inside. He simply refuses to be broken down, and no matter what tomorrow will bring, he knows that he will be able to adapt to anything.The theme of survival in inhuman conditions runs throughout the novel. Every character in this novel fights many battles against the society and against himself. These constant physical and emotional sufferings were meant to lead to the destruction of the prisoner's

"The Crucible" a character that experiences growth, cleansing by fire and the universal lvl/thematic.

1755 words - 7 pages of such an act before he himself gets addicted. Similarly, in The Crucible by Arthur Miller there are various characters who, as a result of ongoing turmoil, inadvertently have a change in beliefs or actions. John Proctor is a character who develops in a psychological manner. Proctor is seen by the town of Salem as an exemplary citizen; he is a farmer respected for his as hard work and honesty. Regardless of the high esteem in which he is held in

thematic elements of the time machine

1436 words - 6 pages Thematic Elements of the Time Machine “We should strive to welcome change and challenges, because they are what help us grow. With out them we grow weak like the Eloi in comfort and security. We need to constantly be challenging ourselves in order to strengthen our character and increase our intelligence.” This quote comes from a novel that inspired the genre of science fiction. The Time Machine was the first work of fiction written by H.G

The Destruction of the Bison

1104 words - 4 pages Andrew Isenberg said that “the destruction of the bison was not merely the result of human agency but the consequence of the interaction of human society with a dynamic environment.” Humans and nature both played a large role in the ultimate demise of the bison. Bison have been around for 10,000 years. Their ancestors where known as giant bison and they were hunted by the paleoindians that came over on the Bering Strait. The giant bison

Ending Destruction of the Rainforest

1797 words - 7 pages Ending Destruction of the Rainforest As destruction of the rainforest continues, man slowly paves the inevitable path to a clear end. It has been known that the rainforest is an essential provider for the balance of the mother earth and that it acts as a key for life as we know it. Yet, the world still decides to quietly watch the disappearance. In fact, most people realize what exactly is taking place. But however, instead of trying to

Destruction of the Amazon Rainforest

2051 words - 8 pages decreasing in size due to agricultural expansion, ranching, infrastructure projects, energy exploration and illegal logging. At its current state, the Amazon is losing land equal to the size of the state of Delaware every year. The destruction of this forest releases 340 million tons of carbon per year according to the World Wildlife Foundation, or WWF, which in turn cause climate changes everywhere around the world. Undiscovered species can hold the key

Similar Essays

Thematic Analysis Of Oliver Twist

2120 words - 8 pages Drozd 1Matthew DrozdMrs. ByrneBritish Literature Honors25 January 2013Thematic Analysis on Oliver TwistMany know of Oliver Twist; people know the novel as "the one about the orphan boy who asked for more," but what many do not know, is its analytical reference to the true life of orphans and children in the 1800s in England. Charles Dickens's novel, Oliver Twist, published in 1838, tells of an orphaned boy whose mother has died shortly after

Setting Analysis Of "The Crucible"

668 words - 3 pages If someone saw girls dancing naked in the woods today, they probably wouldn't put them on trial. In early colonial times, it would have been considered a sign of witchcraft and a sin! In Arthur Miller's "The Crucible", a story of that kind of odd behavior is told about the now infamous Salem witch trials. In 1692, a group of young women were caught dancing in the woods and witchcraft hysteria went rampant through Salem, Massachusetts. The

Analysis Of The Title Of The Crucible

1201 words - 5 pages Missing Works Cited The Crucible by Arthur Miller is a play written in response to the “communist scares” in America in the 1950’s. Miller chose “The Crucible” as the title because the definitions of the words match the play perfectly. A crucible is a container that can withstand high temperatures, often used to melt, and change the shape of metals. The town of Salem can be compared to the container that melts metals. The witchcraft trials

Thematic Analysis Of Jack London's White Fang

932 words - 4 pages Thematic Analysis of Jack London's White Fang White Fang, written by Jack London, is a wonderful adventure novel that vividly depicts the life of a wolf by the name of White Fang. Throughout the course of the novel, White Fang goes through numerous learning experiences as he interacts with humans and other wolves from Alaska around the turn of the century. Jack London uses the events that transpire during White Fang's life to illustrate