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Let Us Grieve For The Women Of Salem

2219 words - 9 pages

Featured in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible is a powerful dynamic between the levels of a maintained social hierarchy. There are shifts in the social hierarchy in the town of Salem even though the social hierarchy has been maintained and has existed for a long length of time. The attempts on this maintained structure are met with powerful retaliations that draw in all the members of the town of Salem, resulting in the deaths of many woman and men in the town. The Crucible reflects on the historical context of this struggle and shows what would happen if the status quo were changed. The play presents what people would do in order to hold on to the power that they are slowly losing through false pretense. The Salem witch trails were a society’s way of attempting to maintain a structure they are used to, using hysteria to help them grasp onto a dying conscience they once had and to explain what could not be explained. Today, the issues that are presented in this play, the social hierarchy and what is done to maintain it, still exist.
The University of Toronto – Scarborough Campus’s theatre company performed The Crucible. The production followed Arthur Miller’s play showing the audience the fear and hysteria that ran through Salem during the witch trails. The importance of religion was evident just as the play opens up to hearing a prayer being spoken. Themes of paranoia, religion, and McCarthyism were present throughout the presentation. The overall acting and set provided the audience with a more intimate viewing of what happened throughout the Salem witch trails.
The Crucible follows the events that occurred before and during the Salem Witch Trials. John Proctor, the protagonist of the play has to fight the hysteria that has taken over the town of Salem due to the accusations that, along with many other innocent townsfolk, he has conjured Satan and has used witchcraft. John Proctor dies denying his submission to Satan, despite the courts constant plea for him to save his life by saying he did. He dies in the shame of public execution, though keeping his dignity. The play revolves around John Proctor despite the injustices that have been done to the women of Salem. From a feminist perspective, Miller failed in displaying the injustices towards women
In the 1600s to early 1700s women’s role in society was predetermined. They were to provide for the needs of the society they live in. Simply, their roles were that of mothers, caregivers and home caretakers. Women had to bear children for their husbands, raise and care for them, along with taking care of the home and land. Abramovitz states “colonial leaders brought women to the New World as wives, servants, and slaves because their productive and reproductive labour was needed for family formation and economic development” (Abramovitz 66). Women were simply tools for the men in power. Women basically had no power at all in the social hierarchy that is male-dominated. Wendy Schissel points out the...

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