The Crucible What Is There About The Society Of Salem, Which Allows The Girls Stories To Be Believed?

2680 words - 11 pages

The Crucible - what is there about the society of Salem, which allows the girls stories to be believed?The edge of the wilderness was close by. The American continent stretched endlessly west, and it was full of mystery for them. It stood dark and threatening, over their shoulders night and day, for out of it Indian tribes marauded from time to time. Act 1. The Crucible was written in the 1950s by Arthur Miller (married to Marilyn Monroe in 1956) during the time America was suspicious of the spread and influence of communism plus 'Un-American' activities. In the late 16th and early 17th centuries, ...view middle of the document...

Also, (but not included in the extract) is the fact that by naming others could you be saved. This Arthur Miller experienced when questioned about others. Like Proctor, he refused to include more names. As altered in the play, there were several witchcraft trials in Massachusetts before 1692. In real life, two involved adolescent girls suffering hysterical fits similar to those seen in Salem. In January 1692, the daughter and niece of the village parson, Reverend Parris, having dabbled with fortune telling began to speak nonsense plus twist their limbs into grotesque positions. They had claimed that Parris' West Indian slave Tituba's spirit was tormenting them. Tituba was arrested on the charge of witchcraft. Like most people in the 17th Century, the Puritans believed in witches. The idea of witchcraft had existed even before the Christian era. A basis of witchcraft laws was the Old Testament verse; 'Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.' (Exodus, 22:18). For a religious attitude, the Puritans relied on the Old Testament to explain to them what they did not understand and they believed strongly in the words. They were strict in reading the Bible at any time and made sure that their younger generation would abide by their own actions and beliefs.'They had no novelists and would not have permitted anyone to read a novel if one were handy. Their creed forbade anything resembling a theatre or 'vain enjoyment''.Everyone was expected to conform to a strict code of belief. They did not approve of most forms of relaxation. They only made confined private reading to religious texts especially the Bible. Their children had to live up to this way of behaviour from an early age and take part in adult work from 7 years old. In Act 1 of the Crucible, Miller reviews the effects of the demanding self-discipline.'Salem folk never conceived that the children were anything but thankful for being permitted to walk straight, eyes slightly lowered, arms at the sides, and mouths shut until bidden to speak.'People were accused of heresy if they expressed an opinion that was even slightly out of sticking to the beliefs. PARRIS: I discovered her and my niece and ten or twelve of the other girls, dancing in the forest last night. HALE: (Surprised) You permit dancing? Act 1.Puritans believed that they should; 'Not celebrate Christmas, and a holiday from work meant that they must concentrate even more upon prayer.'Attitudes like this would turn people into very strict, boring and grave individuals. They believed strongly in the 10 Commandments and expected one another to have them memorised.'Why, your excellence, no curse at all. I only say my commandments; I hope I may say my commandments, says she! Then Judge Hathorne say, "Recite for us your commandments!" And of all the ten she could not say a single one. She never knew no commandments, and they...

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