The Puritan and Persecution Predicament in Arthur Miller's The Crucible

Better Essays
The Crucible is a play written by Arthur Miller about the 1692 Salem witch trials. Arthur Miller tells the story of John Proctor; A man who is trying to save his wife and friends from wrongful accusations of being witches. He also tells the story of a misguided court whom are innocently accusing people of witchcraft in Salem. Within this play, Arthur Miller highlights main themes that occur during the trials. The Salem witch trials created many innocent deaths. In his play, Arthur Miller shows the two main themes on why the Salem witch trials caused so many deaths. Puritanism and Persecution are the two main themes in The Crucible.
Puritanism is a main theme in the crucible. Arthur Miller shows how Puritanism gave the people of Salem a pessimistic view. When Parris discovers the girls dancing around a fire in the forest, he immediately thinks that they are doing something bad. He becomes especially concerned because his daughter and niece were in the mix of girls. As a consequence of his constant preaching of hellfire and damnation; he becomes very upset. The assumption that the townspeople come up with is extreme. The rumor and accusation that is spread is witchcraft. Parris at firsts tries not to believe in it. He says to Thomas Putnam “We cannot leap to witchcraft”(35). The way that Puritanism worked at the time caused a very delicate line between good and bad, heaven and hell, God and the devil. So, when the girls start to act bizarre, the townspeople think that they have collaborated with the devil and have become witches. Also, the pessimistic views of the Puritans show in who they first start to accuse. The people of Salem were probably wary of the misfits in their town. Also they might have thought negatively of the peop...

... middle of paper ...

...ily happen to a Puritan because of the small margin of error that puritanism seems to give. This fact is evident in the play and the number of innocent lives that are taken.
Persecution and Puritanism go hand in hand in the book The Crucible. When a group of people raised to be close minded are presented an issue, the result does not always end well. People can be selfish, overdramatic, or even paranoid. Sadly in the case of The Crucible, all these feelings build up to the persecution of many people. These people were hurt and killed by hanging, being put in jail, and even in one case being pressed to death. Arthur Miller shows that Puritanism and Persecution do not mix well. He also shows how many innocent lives can be affected by hysteria; In the crucible, and in real life.

Works Cited

Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. New York, NY: Penguin, 1996. Web. Fall 2013.