Theme Of Fear In The Crucible

Better Essays
How can one’s desire for safety lead them down a path of evil? Several characters find themselves in this exact position in The Crucible by Arthur Miller. This novel explores the intense witch trials and how big of a role fear plays in Salem. Since almost everyone is religious, people who commit sins are scared to death about people finding out and try to keep it a secret for as long as possible. No one is spared from the judgements of the one-sided court, causing innocent townspeople to be convicted and those who cunningly blame others to manipulate the proceedings to align with their personal selfish wishes. The evil actions by the seemingly good, moral, religious people of Salem, are all brought on by a sense of fear. Both Proctor and Mary…show more content…
Proctor’s unwillingness to confess his affair with Abigail demonstrates that his actions are coming from a sense of fear - both of the expected consequences and to protect his reputation and integrity in Salem. Proctor’s wife, Elizabeth, gets suspicious of Proctor’s actions feels uncomfortable when finding out he was alone in a room with Abigail. Proctor, in attempt to cover up his sins, gets furious and exclaims, “No more! I should have roared you down when first you told me your suspicion. I confessed. Confessed! But you 're not, you 're not, and let you remember it! Let you look sometimes for the goodness in me, and judge me not”(Act II; 55). John fears losing Elizabeth and wants to forget that he ever had an affair with Abigail. He claims he wants Elizabeth to “look sometimes for the goodness” in him, but in reality, he has indeed committed sins and should be held accountable for the actions he has committed. The “goodness”…show more content…
When John Proctor chokes Mary to testify in court, she responds by saying “She 'll kill me for sayin ' that! Abby 'll charge lechery on you, Mr. Proctor!I cannot, they 'll turn on me—”(Act II; 80). Mary Warren is extremely scared of defying Abigail because she knows what Abigail can do to her. Mary claims her friends will “turn on [her]” if she testifies in court, which is why she decides to take the safe route. Mary’s previous encounters with Abigail are what lead her to think that Abigail will actually “kill” her if she goes against her orders. Mary’s reluctance to testify in court shows how deeply she cares about other people’s perceptions of her and her need to shape her actions correspondingly. Mary’s intense fear also comes out when she openly reveals Proctor’s sins to save herself from being accused for witchcraft. She does this by telling the court “You 're the Devil 's man! My name, he want my name. "I 'll murder you," he says, He wake me every night, his eyes were like coals and his fingers claw my neck”(Act III; 119). Mary constantly repeats that Proctor wants her “name” because she wants to prove to the court that Proctor is a bad man who is indeed guilty of performing sins. She mentions his “eyes were like coals” to show just how intense he was about harming her if she did not comply. In both these situations, Mary
Get Access