The Crucible 2 Essay

1460 words - 6 pages

"THE CRUCIBLE" By ARTHUR MILLER ESSAY QUESTION: "Miller tries to show that conflict in "The Crucible" stems from certain recognisable human failings such as greed, vengeance, jealousy, ambition, fear and hysteria." Discuss this statement and, where possible, refer to specific instances from the play to support your argument.Life as a human is dictated by an inborn hunger or purpose, and people, in general, will act on this hunger for their own personal gain in their individual ways. This hunger, be it for wealth, land, love, power, revenge, or pride, can, and will be the undoing or failing of all mankind as Miller so clearly points out in his play "The Crucible". This essay will explore the motives of characters within the play and even the motives of Arthur Miller himself and therefore show how conflict stems from certain recognisable human failings including those mentioned above, fear, and hysteria.Reverend Parris is the character that initiates the hysteria of the Salem witch trials, in a community where authorities wasted no time minding the business of it's citizens, what should have been seen as teen frivolity was blown into one of the ugliest moments in American History. Parris sparks this by firstly acting on his own paranoia, which the reader would find in the introduction "he believed he was being persecuted where ever he went", and calling Reverend Hale in an attempt for self-preservation "….if you trafficked with spirits in the forest I must know it now, for surely my enemies will, and they will ruin me with it." This statement says a lot about the character of Reverend Parris: a greedy, power hungry man who is more concerned with his own reputation than the souls of his niece and daughter. He always acts on fear, a fear that he will lose his position of power in the community. Parris does not want the trials to end as a fraud because the scandal of having a lying daughter and niece would end his career in Salem.Salem citizens in general were afraid of all ungodly things with their Puritan views. They had no trouble believing that, because Parris had called Reverend Hale, (known for his studies in demonic arts), there must truly be witchcraft within the town. The play progresses and certain characters begin to develop: here is a community full of underlying personal grudges. Religion pervades every aspect of life, "A man may think that God sleeps, but God sees everything, I know it now." but it is a religion that lacks the ritual of confession. Here and throughout the play we see how this affects John Proctor, a man so proud of his name that guilt eats at his very heart, as he will not let out his secret pain in a vain attempt to keep his integrity. As there is no ritual outlet to manage emotions such as anger, jealousy, or resentment these trials became to many an outlet for the expression of these conflicts within the acceptable bounds of defending God.Abigail Williams, until these progressions had held no power; no...

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