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The Crucible

The Crucible The Crucible Essay The story The Crucible takes place during the times of the Salem witch trials in Massachusetts. This was a time of much hypocrisy in the people of the town of Salem. Many people believed anything they heard or saw. Although The Crucible is fictitious, the story depicts the historical information of the Salem witch trials, and blends them with fictitious characters with minds of their own to create a very realistic plot and conflict in this story. This story has a few themes that are shown through the actions and the thoughts of the characters. One theme that I felt had an impact on the outcome of the story is Fear and suspicion can produce hysteria which results in the destruction and breakdown of the people. The thesis of the story is shown by peoples actions people can become suspicious of one thing and this leads to an uprising in the town and the people. The story begins with the dancing of the girls in the forest. When the girls are seen they become scared and run off.

This is what leads to the uprising in the town. The Puritans are viewed as being very religious they believe in God and everything he did for them. They believe in an unconditional election in which God has no obligation to save anyone, no matter how little the problem is. The Puritans use this during the witch trials in which they hanged many people that were innocent of witchcraft. These hangings happened because everyone believed everything the girls said and showed.

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People in the crowd seemed awe struck by the girls and their ability to view people as witches or not. These hangings produced hysteria in the townspeople. In the story because of the dancing of the girls the priests of the town, Hale and Parris believed that the girls called the devil upon their town. Many people are accused of witch craft because of the girls. Puritans also believe in The Supremacy of Divine Will in which god is absolute.

When the girls supposedly brought Satan upon their town the people got frightened and the only way to get rid of the demons in the town is through several hangings. The girls was the link between the people they could see Satan and the people that followed his work. Through the stories the girls lied about what they saw this should not have happened. The girls took their fear out on the people of the town and they did not even realize it. The thesis of this story has a large impact on the people and the conflict of the story.

The other side of my thesis would have explained that if nobody in the town got suspicious or involved in the witch trials there would not have been hysteria in the people. If this was true there may have been many lives saved including John Proctor and Rebecca Nurse. The other side of the thesis was not used because the opposite of the thesis does not explain the way the outcome of the story was. If nobody got involved in the trials the conflict/outcome would have been different. In conclusion peoples actions and suspicions of one thing can lead to and uprising in the town.

Throughout the story the people turned to the girls to rely on who was a witch. The girls were led by Abigail she stunned everyone with her attitude and her ability to see the Devil. Because of what the girls said there was a disturbance in the town. The Crucible is a great example of fictional/history. It also shows that you can not always believe what you hear because it may not be true.

Theater Essays.

The Crucible

The Crucible The witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts in the early sixteen hundreds was a time of uneasiness and suspicion. Anyone could easily turn in his or her neighbor on the ground of witchcraft. Someone could merely say their neighbor’s spirit had attacked them during the night, which no man can prove. Nevertheless, as a God-fearing community, they could not think of denying the evidence, because to deny the existence of Evil is to deny the existence of Goodness, which is God. The most important scene in the play was act two, scene three, where John Proctor is able to talk with his wife, Elizabeth, one last time.

He decides that he will “confess” to the crime of witchcraft, thereby avoiding being hung. However, to accept what he said, the judge also requires him to sign a written confession which states that he confessed to the crime of witchcraft. Judge Danforth would post it on the church door, to use Proctor as an example to get other people to confess. That upset Proctor greatly, because people would look down on him with disdain, and it would blacken forever his name. What was most important to him was to make a ezd against the insanity of the town, for himself and for God, and using that as a last resort to make people aware of what was happening.

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This last ezd for righteousness is an example of proctor’s great character and rationale. Arthur Miller wrote his play, The Crucible, a story about the Salem witch trials, and the panic resulting from it, as an allegory to show people the insanity of the McCarthy hearings. He wrote it as an allegory so that, if tried by McCarthy, he could say, “it’s just a play about the witch trials in Salem. How do you get this communist idea from it?” The story illustrates how people react to mass hysteria, created by a person or group of people desiring fame, as people did during the McCarthy hearings. Arthur Miller, acting as a great visionary, warned us that if we did not become aware of history repeating itself, our society would be in danger. At the same time, he had to do this in a matter that would not get him arrested, hence the witch-trial mechanization.

The Crucible

A crucible, as defined by the Merriam-Webester Concise Electronic Dictionary, is "the state or fact of being tested (as by suffering)", which attests to what Elizabeth Proctor is going through exactly. Elizabeth has quite a crucible to struggle through. The infidelity of her husband is a major element in her being. Her struggle includes staying true to both her husband and her God. Another is the persecution by Abigail Warren, a former employee and assistant. Elizabeth also has to suffer through the decision to reveal the unfaithfulness of John or to remain strong in her love of him. All of this is too much for Elizabeth and the burden is very heavy.
	Elizabeth’s husband, John, is a religious man. He believes in God, but not the minister who preaches His word. John’s actions, though, are not so religious and devoid of sin. Abby, a young seductress, was able to gain his attention while Elizabeth was bedridden. A fiery and passionate affair scared his relationship with his wife. Elizabeth struggles with his infidelity. When Reverend Hale questions the couple on the commandments, it is evident that there is still a void between her and John. All commandments could be recited except for adultery. In the puritan culture, adultery is a grievous sin, one punishable by death. She has to live through each day knowing that John was unfaithful, and that he did not fulfill the commitment of marriage. She feels hurt and betrayed, but what Abby tries next is the most underhanded trick possible.


	Abigail was placed in power due to her "ability" to spot the devil in people. She could see those who trafficked with the devil and who was in his book. This was an opportunity to settle the score for her. Goody Proctor had discharged Abby from her home, and now was Abby’s chance to get back at Elizabeth.. All she needed was an opportunity. Following the idea of spirits leaving the body of a host, she stabbed herself with a needle, and blamed it on Elizabeth’s familiar spirit. Elizabeth had to fight the accusations and the suspicions about her and her bad intentions. She was backed in a corner and there was nowhere to go. If she confessed to being a witch, she would spend her days in jail, and her name would be forever tarnished. If she did not confess at all, she would be hanged for being a witch. It was trying not only on her, but on her faith. Another factor, though, would impact her emotional problems.
	In an attempt to prove that Abby was just condemning people out of vengeance, John Proctor asked the court to allow Elizabeth to reveal the real reason that Abby was discharged from their home. His favor was granted, with the understanding that neither John nor Abby could face or gesture to Elizabeth. She was asked why she discharged Abby, and then if she believed that there was an affair between John and Abby. She denied an affair, and in that way condemned John as a liar and as one trying to overthrow the court. He was arrested and was indicted in the matter of trafficking with the devil. Throughout the time that the Salem trials took place, John believed that they were a farce. Now, with Elizabeth present, he was given a choice. He could sign a confession and indict other people. He asked Elizabeth if she wanted him to live, and she said yes. He made the decision to not confess, though, and she had the choice of stopping him. She could if she wanted to, but she made the decision to let John be at peace with God. She allowed him to leave without confessing, and he was hanged.

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	The Crucible was not just about one town experiencing a trial that would forever change it. It was about individual people experiencing events that would destroy lives, reputations, and families. Elizabeth was one of those individuals who would go through the hardest trials and tribulations. She had three crucibles to bear, each of equal strength. Standing by her husband, who was unfaithful, was the first in the chain. Being attacked by the girl that caused her husband to be unfaithful was the second, and deciding to let her husband be at peace or to be with her was the third. She was faced with three hard decisions that would change everything that she knew. The Crucible used these characters to amplify the inner lives of those caught up in a hunt for the unseen, and to show that there was more than one conflict involved. Elizabeth showed strength through her trials, and defined the meaning of crucible.

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