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Puritanism And The Crucible Essay

890 words - 4 pages

The Crucible by Arthur Miller talks of a group of Puritans who believe that witchcraft and wizardry is the Devil’s work. There was a story of the Puritans not being able to dance or sing because it was considered witchcraft, but it was a myth. Puritans were allowed to dance and sing. The characters within The Crucible were shown as the strict and precise Puritans who cared about their religious lives, more than their social lives, after their movement to Massachusetts. Even though there were several religions that were considered to be Puritans, they were all extremely precise when it came to their religion being questioned.
Puritans, whether they are Presbyterians or Congregationalists, believe in the thought of predestination and Reverend Parris was an example of a priest who encouraged this belief in his church. Although it was not spoken directly, Parris refused to believe that witchcraft was the cause of the deaths of babies. Parris knew that “all features of salvation were determined by God” (Campbell). To Puritans, everyone was “innately sinful” because of the “original sin of Adam and Eve” (Heyrman). This gave Parris a reason to keep the thoughts of witchcraft affecting people to a minimum, until later in the play. Even when witchcraft was in question, to the Puritans, there was always a way to “go to God for the cause” (Miller 29). In their eyes, there are “certain ideas … emotions and actions” (Miller 35) that God puts in their minds. Reverend Parris is believed to have “the light of God” (Miller 69), which would mean that he was most likely the messenger. He would tell the townspeople of revelation and help them down the path that God created for them before they were born. This could explain why some of the townspeople would erupt in slight chaos when something happened.
Every person in the town – “today [it] would hardly [be] call[ed] a village” (Miller 4) – was a righteous man or woman. They went to church and followed the Ten Commandments. That would explain why everyone was appalled when something considered sinful happened. The Crucible contained the myth of “Puritans [not having] fun” (Puritan), that meant dancing and singing were forbidden. To some Puritans, dancing and singing were considered to be “abominations” (Miller 11) and whoever was found doing these things were thought to be “traffick[ing] with spirits” (Miller 10). These actions can cause others to be frightened for their lives which caused them to make drastic conclusions and accusations. This was why so many people were accused and many were hanged in The Crucible. People were dancing and singing, which they believed was “sport” (Miller 11), and when they were caught they started pointing fingers saying that they were bewitched by others who “wrote in [the...

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