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The Crucible By Arthur Miller Essay

1064 words - 4 pages

The government in the 1950s used the fear in the community to their advantage, as do the characters in The Crucible. Therefore, proving that The Crucible is seen as a social protest against the American government during the 1950s.

In the book, multiple characters use the fear in the community to their advantage, one of them being Abigail Williams. The character, Abigail Williams, has motives against Elizabeth Proctor, and uses the fear of witchcraft in her community to her advantage. Abigail proves that these are her motives when she sticks a needle, "two inches in the flesh of her belly,"(71) and says that it was Elizabeth's, "familiar spirit,"(71) that put it in. As you can see, Abigail has a large dislike for Elizabeth Proctor. She wants Elizabeth out of the picture so that she can have John Proctor for herself. She will only play the game as long as she has to, which for her is when she finally gets Elizabeth in jail.

Another character that uses the fear in the community to their advantage is Walcott. Once the whole town goes mad with the thought of witchcraft, simpletons, like Walcott, see that they can use it to their advantage. They see that they can get revenge on people who they dislike or thought have done wrong to them by accusing them of witchcraft. Walcott does this by getting Martha Corey in jail. Martha Coreys husband, Giles Corey explains the whole situation.
"That bloody mongrel Walcott charge her. Y'see, he buy a pig of my wife five or four years ago, and the pig died soon after. So he come dancin' in for his money back. So my Martha, she says to him, "Walcott, if you haven't the wit to feed a pig properly, you'll not live to own many," she says. Now he goes to court and claims that to this day he cannot keep a pig alive for more than four weeks because my Martha bewitch them with her books!" (68)
As it is stated, Walcott used witchcraft, to get his revenge on Martha Corey. The town is so absorbed with witchcraft that the people do not even pause to look at the situation and how absurd it is. Therefore, letting many people get away with their revenge, and silly accusations.

Lastly, the third character that uses the fear in the community to their advantage is Goody Putnam. Goody Putnam has cruel motives against Rebecca Nurse, so she accuses Rebecca, "for the marvelous and supernatural murder," of her babies. All but one of Goody Putnams babies died, while all of Rebecca Nurses babies survived. Therefore, Goody Putnam has always been jealous of Rebecca Nurse. Goody Putnam does not think it is fair that all of Rebecca's children should survive, when the same had not happened to Goody Putnam. Naturally, women should feel anger and sorrow that their babies do not survive. But being jealous, and getting revenge on someone whose children did survive is absurd. Thus, because The Crucible speaks out about using the fear in the community to their advantage; it is seen as a social protest against the American government during the...

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