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Arthur Miller's The Crucible

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Arthur Miller’s dramatic play The Crucible, takes place during 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts. The setting is important because it takes place during the time of the Salem Witch Trials. The play begins with the town’s girls, led by Abigail Williams, gathering in the forest and starting to dance around a fire, chanting. Reverend Parris catches them dancing, sending the girls into a panic and causing two of the girls to go into a coma-like state. The townspeople spread rumors that there are witches lurking throughout the the town that have put the girls under their spells. This causes Reverend Parris to send for Reverend Hale, an expert in witchcraft and the devil's work, who hopes to rid the town of all witchcraft. John Proctor, a local farmer, asks Abigail to stop accusing innocent people and start telling the truth about what happened in the forest. Elizabeth Proctor, John Proctor's wife, excused Abigail from their house because she found out about an affair between Abigail and John. She lies to the court when she is asked about John’s affair to save him from any punishment. In doing so, they were both sent to jail for witchcraft because they knew she had lied. Abigail and the girls continued to lie about people in the town being witches, causing many innocent people to be killed, including John Proctor. Miller shows the dangers of scapegoating when lies that are regarded as the truth, and can kill innocent characters. The first person to be scapegoated is Tituba, a slave from Barbados working for the Parris household. Reverend Hale questions Abigail about what happened in the woods but she only says that the girls danced and did not summon the devil but that Tituba did. Tituba insists that someone else is bewitching the child... ... middle of paper ... ...e amount of authority and how it is uprooting the towns beliefs. Proctor begins to sign the document stating that he gives his word that he compacted with the devil. Before he gives the document to the officials he takes it away and rips it because he sees the wrong in his actions. I confess to God and God has seen my name on this!…It is my name! I cannot have another in my life! 142-143 Proctor can see the wrongdoing the judges have made and he wants to show them that you have to put an end to problems in the beginning rather than at the last moment right before everything crumbles down. He shows that social unjust and allowing scapegoating without proof can ruin a community’s trust quickly as people become angry at one another. When lies are taken as the truth by scapegoating it can kill innocent people and have adverse effects on the other community members.
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