Fear of being arrested or put to death is the key motivation in turning others in as witches. From these three human flaws, the town of Salem falls into chaos with many innocent people paying the price. Vengeance plays a key role in causing the mass hysteria of the Salem Witch Trials. Abigail Williams, who?s probably most to blame for the trials, acts out of revenge. She and John Proctor have had an affair and when Elizabeth Proctor finds out, she throws Abigail out of their house.
The play concentrates on key figures of the trials: Abigail Williams, Mary Warren, John Proctor, Elizabeth Proctor and Reverend Samuel Parris. These were all real people trapped in the devastation of the time. The disturbing storyline powerfully depicts people under pressure and certain issues involved, Senator Joseph McCarthy; an important figure in the USA in the 1950's is mentioned somewhat in 'The Crucible.' For instance; a certain similarity between the Salem Witchcraft Trials and McCarthyism was the fact that they both failed to make a plausible case against anyone, both their colourful and cleverly presented accusations drove people out of their jobs (and in 'The Crucible') and their towns and brought popular condemnation to others. The persecution of innocent souls is apparent in both Senator Joseph McCarthy's work and of 'The Crucible.'
Aristotle once said, “Men are swayed more by fear than by reverence.” It’s generally known that fear is quite a motivator in any given situation. This is apparent in many real life situations such as the Red Scare or the Salem Witch Trials of 1962. Arthur Miller was a playwright victimized by McCarthyism in the Second Red Scare who related his experience to the Salem Witch trials. He was oppressed because he had Communist sympathies. In the midst of this oppression, he looked into the Salem Witch Trials and saw similarities to the Red Scare.
The girls once again panicked in the court causing an uproar believing that devil was among them. John was determined to free his wife, he went to the court and admitted his adultery he committed with Abigail and the reasoning of why she is causing the chaos in the town for revenge. He claimed that the girls were all pretending. His proof was Mary Warren as she was in the forest that night when they were only dancing and hoping for love when it was Abigail
“The Crucible” In 1692, countless innocent people were hanged, tortured, or stripped of their reputation because they were falsely accused of being a witch. They would have to falsely confess to save their lives, or else have their reputation be defaced. Arthur Miller shows the chaos of people constantly living in fear that their neighbor would become greedy, and falsely accuse them of being something that they were not. Miller does this through the book “The Crucible”. Motives of revenge, greed, and peer pressure contribute to the hysteria and hangings in the Salem Witch Trials.
The four main characters in the play, John Proctor, Abigail Adams, Reverend Hale and Reverend Parris, are caught in the middle of the witchcraft panic in the religious Salem, Massachusetts in late 1690’s. Persecution is the most important theme in the Crucible, the leaders and citizens of Salem attacks and persecutes one of their own without any tangible evidence against them. In the Crucible, persecution exists between friends and enemies in the play. The girls could falsely accuse the people they hate for practicing witchcraft so that they are persecuted. In addition, friends whose friendship had ended also accused their former friends of witchcraft.
A crucible is defined as a container made with metal or refectory material used for heating substances to a high temperature, but it can also be defined as a severe test or trial. So, how do witch hunts relate to both definitions? Back in 1641 England made witch craft a capital crime, so in 1692 when Abigail Williams claimed that she had seen women in her village working alongside the devil you can only imagine the hysteria and problems that came along with the false accusations and the beliefs of the puritan lifestyle. So this brings us to the point of how lifestyle and the social norms form witch hunts. It seems to be human nature to fear what we do not know and with fear comes hysteria which leads to mob mentality that causes mass amounts of people to put blame on those who they have known for a long time.
Mrs. Putnam claims, “she saw her spirit killing her babies” (Miller). Everyone in the town is shocked when they heard it. At the end of the story she ends up getting hanged with john while reciting the lord prayer if they were truly witches they wouldn’t have been able to do that, and then the story ends. This proves the unresolved conflicts between other people can have tragic
This was the hill where all the witches were hanged. After a witch was hanged, later that night, their family would usually take the body down and give it a proper burial. The Salem Witchcraft Trials were one of the most terrible times in the history of America. As you can see the chaotic Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692 were caused by superstition, the strict puritan lifestyle, religious beliefs, and hysteria.
Since their bad luck never disappeared their witch hunt would not soon be satisfied. The whole tragic trials were apparently started when several young girls were found playing with a ball made of crystal. Only trying to escape their punishment, they claimed to have been forced to do so by a witch. The church tried to seek out and punish the witch or wizard responsible for tormenting the girls and thus started this whole out of control event. The minister of the town, Samuel Parris, not only didn’t help the problem, but added fuel to the fire by telling the town that witches were everywhere and that no one could be trusted.