The Moral of Arthur Miller's The Crucible

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The Moral of Arthur Miller's The Crucible

In the 17th century a group of Puritans from England immigrated to

America to escape persecution for their religious beliefs. The white

settlers arrived in New England in 1620, and Salem, Massachusetts had

been in existence for about forty years by 1692. Salem developed as a

theocracy. This was based on the coexistence of religious prayer and

hard work. Entertainment, such as dancing, or any enjoyment at all was

perceived as a sin. The isolation of the Puritan society created a

rigid social system that did not allow for any variation in lifestyle.

The Puritans felt insecure with the knowledge of the Native Americans

in the forest. They felt persecuted and constantly under attack.

Abigail mentions her past when she says that she witnessed, ‘Indians

smash my dear parents' heads on the pillow next to mine’.

Throughout the play it is apparent that the community becomes more

divided. In the beginning there were arguments about ownership of land

between some of the villagers. As the story progresses people fear for

their own safety and begin accusing their neighbours of witchcraft in

order to escape being hanged.

HALE 'They have confessed it.' PROCTOR 'And why not, if they must hang

for denyin'it? There are them that will swear to anything before

they'll hang;

This is like when Abigail accuses Elizabeth Proctor of witchcraft so

that she will know that there will be a clear path to John Proctor

whom she had an affair with and now is in love with.

Salem becomes overrun by the hysteria of witchcraft. Mere suspicion

itself was accepted as evidence. As a God-fearing community, they

could not think of denying the evidence, because to deny the existence

of Evil ...

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... storm.' This atmosphere leaves the audience to

contemplate the play and particular characters and their relevance to

the title. The light that shines through the window at the very end of

the play makes the ending symbolic. The word 'new' almost lets us

forget all the tragic events that have just passed and that the best

solution would to start afresh. It leaves the audience thinking that

there is hope for the people of Salem especially with the presence of

light.

I believe that The Crucible was written with a moral. Arthur Miller,

by writing The Crucible, warned us that if we did not become aware of

history repeating itself, our society would be in danger. Such as has

been seen during the McCarthy era. As the witchcraft hysteria took

place in one of America's wholesome, theocratic towns, it makes the

miscarriage of justice such a mystery even today.
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