Themes in The Crucible by Arthur Miller

774 Words4 Pages
In every literary work, there are themes. A theme is a broad idea, moral or message of a book or story. One individual may construe the themes of a book or story differently than another, but that is the pure beauty of themes. One great literary work is The Crucible, a play written by Arthur Miller. Succinctly, the play is about the Salem witch trials that took place in Massachusetts in 1692. Throughout the story, the townspeople indict their neighbors of being a witch and practicing witchcraft. On the surface, this historical drama has a few universal and enduring themes. Themes are universal because regardless of where in the world, the ideas still relates to everyone and is understood. Themes are enduring because the ideas are found back in ancient times and today in modern society. In view of the fact that The Crucible was published in 1953 and is still being read and analyzed around the world, the themes of reputation, empowerment and hysteria found in the play are both universal and enduring.
One theme explored in The Crucible is reputation. Throughout the play, many characters are focused on maintaining their public reputation and good name. They also believe that their names and reputations will be impaired because of their friends’ sins. A good example of how the theme of reputation is shown is through Revered Parris. In one scene, Reverend Parris talks to Abigail Williams about the incident with his daughter Betty in the forest. He says to Abigail, “There is a faction that is sworn to drive me from my pulpit”. He believes that this supernatural incident with his daughter Betty will ruin his reputation with the people of Salem, and it will eventually cause him to step down from the pulpit. Reputation is a universal and en...

... middle of paper ... profiling. Today, people accept the stereotypes of Mexicans, Blacks, Asians and whites as the truth. With the crashing of the twin towers on September 11, 2001, people around Europe and America now have a prejudicial opinion towards Muslims. Arthur Miller’s play reminds the audience that this hysteria about different races and peoples may never stop.
Reputation, empowerment, and hysteria are both universal and enduring themes present in The Crucible. These ideas are universal and enduring because they are present in every part of the world and will prolong with mankind. Today, people around the world try to maintain a good reputation. People also gain power when they never had any. People are hysterical with the social issues today pertaining to racism. The Crucible is a great literary work that teaches readers enduring ideas that are found all around the world.
Open Document