The Puritan And Persecution Predicament In Arthur Miller's The Crucible

1398 words - 6 pages

The Crucible is a play written by Arthur Miller about the 1692 Salem witch trials. Arthur Miller tells the story of John Proctor; A man who is trying to save his wife and friends from wrongful accusations of being witches. He also tells the story of a misguided court whom are innocently accusing people of witchcraft in Salem. Within this play, Arthur Miller highlights main themes that occur during the trials. The Salem witch trials created many innocent deaths. In his play, Arthur Miller shows the two main themes on why the Salem witch trials caused so many deaths. Puritanism and Persecution are the two main themes in The Crucible.
Puritanism is a main theme in the crucible. Arthur Miller shows how Puritanism gave the people of Salem a pessimistic view. When Parris discovers the girls dancing around a fire in the forest, he immediately thinks that they are doing something bad. He becomes especially concerned because his daughter and niece were in the mix of girls. As a consequence of his constant preaching of hellfire and damnation; he becomes very upset. The assumption that the townspeople come up with is extreme. The rumor and accusation that is spread is witchcraft. Parris at firsts tries not to believe in it. He says to Thomas Putnam “We cannot leap to witchcraft”(35). The way that Puritanism worked at the time caused a very delicate line between good and bad, heaven and hell, God and the devil. So, when the girls start to act bizarre, the townspeople think that they have collaborated with the devil and have become witches. Also, the pessimistic views of the Puritans show in who they first start to accuse. The people of Salem were probably wary of the misfits in their town. Also they might have thought negatively of the people who they did not like. When Mrs. Putnam says “I knew it!”(58) when Tituba says Sarah Good was in alliance with the devil shows that she was expecting negative things to be said about her. Also, the first few people of the town who were accused were all misfits. Finally, another pessimistic part of Puritanism is the goals of the women and the girls. The Puritans did not think that women could do anything besides stay at home and do housework. They also could not socialize with men, and had to reside at home almost all day. This causes the women and girls to live in very secluded environments that restricts them from being able to do what they want. This seclusion causes the girls to want attention, and eventually they receive it. Arthur Miller also shows how Puritanism promoted the “every man for himself” concept. Since Puritanism has a belief in predestination, there is more pressure on each man to have good reputations in life. As a consequence, some people in the village of Salem tended to focus more on their reputations instead of helping others. A prime example is Parris. Parris was so focused on his reputation, that he continuously advocated that witchcraft was actually happening in Salem. He also was worried...

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