Is there any idea worth more than a human life? In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, John Proctor decides that he has nothing left to live for, and therefore becomes a martyr. The question for him or one in his position would be whether or not there exist causes worth dying for and if his position is one such case. There is no principle worth more than a person’s life and therefore principles worth dying for, only principles worth living for.
At its core, the Second Great Awakening was a religious response to the uncertainty of the period. The nation at the time was redrawing its boundaries westward to accommodate the booming population. The established Protestant denominations of the day, the Congregationalists and Anglicans, had failed to create their much desired religious utopias and discontent in their traditional beliefs set in. Through the means of renewed religious enthusiasm, a movement spread throughout the young nation seeking to reverse the spiritual apathy that had set in many of its Christian adherents. With the growing diversity of American settlers on the frontier and within the states, the charismatic leaders of the Second Great Awakening reached out to the common man.
The Crucible was a rather strong book, it had battles both internal and external, there were also betrayals and vendettas… but a few stuck strong to their morals of what was wrong, and what was right. After the girl’s acts were, undoubtedly, in the eyes of the law, seen as entirely real, people who would not otherwise have been accused of witchcraft were now eligible to be under Satan’s spell. One John Proctor, saw himself above the nonsense, that witches could not exist in Salem, his wife, his children nor him; But, when Mary Warren said to the court that he used his spirit to drag her into court to testify against the girls, the judges deemed her word more truthful than his. After actively and repeatedly denying the claims, he was sentenced to death, for only a witch could lie in the face of god.
The Democratic-Republicans and the Federalists went under immense evolution during 1800 to 1824. The Democratic-Republicans began to push for a military, tariffs, and a regulated commerce. They began to loosely interpret the constitution as well; but their changes were all sacrifices to their larger principals, westward and inward expansion, promoting the agriculture, and spreading liberty. The Federalists began to strictly interpret the constitution and limiting the powers of government; however, they did so in order to preserve and protect trade and commerce, as well as to keep their party alive. Both parties had a distinguished evolution, giving up many of their beliefs and tenets, but both held true to their larger principles.
The debate over the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 revealed bitter controversies on a number of issues that had been developing since the penning of the Constitution. The writers of the document knew that over time the needs of the nation and its people would change, and therefore provided for its amendment. But by not expressly delegating powers to specific organizations, whether the federal government, state governments, or the people themselves, they inadvertently created a major problem in the years to follow. The two parties, Federalists and Republicans interpreted the Constitution in terms of how this interpretation would fit their very different interests. The result of these differences were the Alien and Sedition Acts, followed closely by the secretly formed Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions.
The Crucible tells of a town’s obsession of accusing innocent people of withcraft. One character that stands out and makes a spiritual growth is Elizabeth Proctor. Elizabeth allows her frustrations of her depression to overcome her religious beliefs which separates herself from God and her marriage. She grows spiritually and begins to understand the things going on around her which was the strength she needed in the beginning.
In The Crucible, two characters that serve as a foil for each other are Elizabeth Proctor and Abigail. Elizabeth Proctor is known as an honest woman, while Abigail is consistently seen as a dishonest person whose lies result in the widespread paranoia of the Salem witch trials. For instance, after she dances in the forest with other girls, she forbids them from telling the townsfolk about it and accuses other people of witchcraft, which leads to their deaths. Another example is the fact that she had an affair with John Proctor, Elizabeth’s husband, and tries to conceal it because she does not want her reputation to get ruined. Her motive for accusing others of witchcraft is because she wants to get rid of Elizabeth so that she could be John’s “perfect wife,” and because she does not want to get in trouble. Abigail is the perfect foil for anyone who is even slightly honest.
Forgiveness is a process of inner healing. For most of the people in The Crucible, they did not need to necessarily forgive others; but forgive themselves. The Crucible is a story of mass hysteria in a period of time in which men dominated women. However, Arthur Miller portrays Abigail Williams and Elizabeth Procter as two women with drastic roles to play. John Procter is a man who has great influence over the people of Salem. They speak to him because he is a man of truth and integrity. There are many other characters in the novel although these three stuck out in my mind the most. I have definitely forgiven people in my life; but as a Christian I know I cannot forget.
Early on in the play, the reader comes to understand that John Proctor has had an affair with Abigail Williams while she was working in his home. Abigail believed that if she got rid of Elizabeth Proctor, then John Proctor would become her own. John Proctor had an affair with Abigail, but for him it was just lust, while Abigail believed it to be true love. She told John Proctor that she loved him, and once she destroys Elizabeth, they would be free to love one another. John is horrified at this, but can do nothing to convince Abigail that he is not in love with her. Because of Abigail's twisted plot to secure John for herself, Elizabeth is arrested. John Proctor has to wrestle with the decision of what to do. He knows that he has sinned; yet he does not want to hurt his beloved wife. This is partly why he is willing to die. He knows he has already sinned.
Change is good." We hear the catchy phrase everywhere. From company slogans to motivational speeches, our world seems to impose this idea that change is always a good thing. Assuming that the change is for the better, it is probably a true statement in most cases. The root of this idea seems to come from the notion that we are dissatisfied with the state that we are in, so, in order to create a more enjoyable surrounding, we adjust. Others, however, stray from this practice, and instead of trying to adapt to the people around them, they try and change others.
Making decisions can be hard but making decisions that can effect a whole village are even harder. Sometimes you have to choose the decision that causes hardship to do what is right. In Salem, in the 1600's, life or death situations had to be made that would effect not one but many. Decisions made by John Proctor in Miller's play, the Crucible, illustrate that life is full of hard decisions that can bring hardship but sometimes turn out to be for the best.
Human nature was fully to blame for the disaster which took place in Salem in 1692. Human nature is what your character is made of in trying situations, and in 1692 scientific knowledge was extremely poor by today's standards and so all reoccurring problems were blamed on an evil force, whether it be the devil or witches or anything the imagination could conjure, hence human nature was being tested regularly. The decisions people made were critical to the disaster's progression, in today's scene in would have been dismissed within minutes, but the paranoia floating around in the town kept the ball rolling. People were so terrified of the thought of evil that any suggestion of it would create a preordained judgement in the mind of anyone, especially those who made judgement of the accused. To get to the supposed truth, a rather unjust system was employed. You either confessed to the crime or you were hanged. Now in those days this was not seen as a terrible injustice because of the hysteria the thought of evil spirits caused. Human nature was to destroy anything thought possessed or evil, to believe the accuser and not the accused, to be judged guilty unless heavy evidence proved you innocent.
The Crucible is one of the most bizarre accounts of a historical event to date. The naïveté of the townspeople leads them down a road of madness and confusion, led by a shameless Puritan girl. Abigail Williams was a ruthless girl who showed no mercy upon accusing her victims of witchcraft. Knowing the entire town of Salem would believe her and the other girls, she would not hesitate at charging anyone she wished with the crime of the Devil’s work. However, a challenge arose to Abigail when she decided to accuse Elizabeth Proctor, and eventually her husband John, of witchcraft. The Proctor marriage was not just any simple marriage; it had its times of cold shoulders, heartfelt truth, and undying love.
Early in the play, Elizabeth discovered a secret affair between her husband, John Proctor, and their servant, Abby. This led Elizabeth to fire Abigail on the spot and continue with John. Elizabeth is done with Abby, claiming “I have forgot Abigail, and - And I”(Miller 54). Elizabeth wants to move on into the future, but Abigail is stuck in the past. This allows Elizabeth’s loyalty to her spouse to shine. The fact that Abigail, and even John Proctor have committed adultery, and Elizabeth kept John, shows how true Elizabeth is to her morals. In fact, it is the wrongdoings of Abigail that show through Elizabeth in a positive manner. This is the first case where we see a side of Elizabeth that is brought out through the actions of Abigail Williams. However, Elizabeth this may seem like the end of Abigail Williams, but it is far from the end. Abby feels she is the right woman for John Proctor, not Elizabeth. In an act of revenge, Abigail blames a needle found in her stomach on Elizabeth, claiming witchcraft, and having Elizabeth arrested. When Ezekiel Cheever bears an arrest warrant, Elizabeth is surprisingly calm, stating “John- I think I must go with them”(Miller 77).
“Well, all the plays that I was trying to write were plays that would grab an audience by the throat and not release them, rather than presenting an emotion which you could observe and walk away from.” by Arthur Miller. All great works provide a way to reach in and grab the audience through the reoccurring themes like, greed, jealousy, reputation and hypocrisy. Arthur Miller had one of those great works and it was called “The Crucible”. The play was based off of the witch trials that happened in Salem in the year of 1962. Some of the characters were actual characters involved in the witch trials. Arthur Miller wrote this play during the time of the “Red Scare”. Miller wrote The Crucible because he wanted to turn the The Salem Witch Trials into