The Bible: A Spiritual Guide Or A Deadly Weapon?

1643 words - 7 pages

The puritans were incredibly gullible people, especially when it came to their reliance upon, and selfish use of religion. They used the Bible more as a weapon than a spiritual guide. In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, Abigail Williams accused Tituba of conjuring with the Devil to stay out of trouble because she knew almost every one of the townspeople would believe a white child over an uneducated negro slave.

Although the puritans as a whole were quite credulous for believing that witchcraft is real, in Act three, the higher authority of the town showed how gullible they truly are. During court, to get back at Mary for telling the truth of how the girls are lying, Abigail pretends to be getting attacked by a yellow bird said to be Mary’s spirit. Judge Danforth says, “Mary Warren. Draw back your spirit out of them! (Miller 116). He believes the girls even though Mary Warren is clearly sitting there denying all that is happening and he goes on to questioning her and asks if she has compacted with the Devil. Even Danforth fell into the spiraling pit of lies that the girls were coming up with, so one can only imagine how gullible they all must be if even their leaders fell for it. Religion is everything to them, and they will believe it no matter what.

The townspeople’s lives greatly revolved around the church and the idea of a higher being controlling every aspect of their life from before birth to after death. Puritans were thought to be unholy if they did not regularly attend church and follow the Ten Commandments. Their religion determined everything to them, from matters of life and death, to more simple things like if the crops were going to grow. Though rare, some of the Puritans did actually get sick of being preached to all the time. John Proctor says, “Can you speak one minute without we land in Hell again? I am sick of Hell!” in which Parris replies, “It is not for you to say what is good for you to hear!” (Miller 30) Everything they said and did revolved around whether they were going to go to Hell or not but some of them took it a little too seriously. If anyone was caught working on Sunday, they would be thought to practically be the anti-christ. Not only did they rely on religion as something to follow, some of them even used it to get out of situations that were not good for their reputation.

Abigail Williams uses Tituba’s slave status along with witchcraft as a way to get herself out of physical trouble. After Betty Parris points out that Abigail drank blood to put a charm on Elizabeth Proctor, she says, “Now look you. All of you. We danced. And Tituba conjured Ruth Putnam’s dead sisters. And that is all…” (Miller 20). By saying that Tituba used witchcraft is ultimately using the Devil to get her out of either being publicly whipped or possibly worse. There were many cases like it, most occurred because of jealousy or just pure hatred. Giles Corey accidentally accused his own wife and although he told the truth that he had not...

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