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conflictcru The Crucible: Conflicts

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Conflicts in The Crucible

            “To all intents and purposes, the power of theocracy in Massachusetts was broken”.  This statement sums up the result of many conflicts in The Crucible.  In Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, the church and government were very closely intertwined.  This caused some serious tension and even hysteria in Salem.  Anyone who was against the church or the government was considered a criminal.  Many problems arose from this civil unrest.  Three of these conflicts were between Abigail and the village girls, Danforth and the townspeople, and John Proctor with himself.

            The village girls were consistently intimidated by Abigail.  When they were caught dancing in the woods, Abby threatened the girls with death if they told the truth about what they were doing.  The girls were trying to conjure spirits.  Abigail was the one behind most of it, and she also drank blood.  In a sense, the beginnings of the Salem witch trials can be traced back to Abigail Williams because, to some extent, she led the crying out.  Abigail was manipulative, and she threatened many people with harm or blackmail.  This is why one of the plays biggest conflicts involves Abigail Williams.

            Another conflict was between Danforth and the people of Salem.  During the trails, many people were hanged for crimes of witchcraft.  The first people that were accused and killed were not well-respected or well-liked citizens.  They were drunks, barmaids, and bums.  However, as the hysteria grew, important and beloved citizens, such as Rebecca Nurse were accused, and would eventually be killed.  This caused unhappiness with the residents of Salem, and came close to causing a riot.  Danforth was considered the one to blame, and was soon disliked.  

            Yet another conflict in The Crucible involves John Proctor.  After he was accused of witchcraft and sent to prison, he had a chance to save his life by confessing.  He wrestled with himself, and finally he did confess to save his life.  He felt very ashamed of himself though when he saw Rebecca Nurse.  Rebecca was also accused, but she would not confess because she knew it was wrong to lie, even to save her life.  In the end, however, he tore up the confession, and he was hung.  This conflict was a different type than others in the story, but still as moving and powerful.

            There were many problems in this play, including conflicts between: Abigail and the village girls, Danforth and the townspeople, and John Proctor with his conscience.  The power of a religious government was too much for the citizens of Salem to handle.  It broke the city apart and caused many people to die for no reason.  This pain and paranoia is exemplified throughout The Crucible.  The Crucible was a good play because it was realistic.  It also gave the reader some insight into an important part of American history.  The conflicts in The Crucible only made it better.

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