Themes of Arthur Miller's The Crucible

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Arthur Miller's The Crucible

A group of teenage girls were secretly dancing in the woods with a black slave, named Tituba. When they were discovered of what they were doing, the girls started accusing certain individuals in the village of dealing with witchcraft. Within a blink of an eye, the entire village is controlled by a devil that exists within the fear of each person. A drama of suspense and impact, Arthur Miller's The Crucible, explores through the individuals' vengeance, fear, reputation, and quest for power.

Vengeance is the main theme of The Crucible. The people of the town of Salem were not united, but instead, distrusted and disliked each other. During the court trials, the girls started accusing certain people that they didn't like of dealing with witchcraft. For example, Abigail Williams couldn't forget John Proctor even though their affair was over. She believed that if his wife, Elizabeth Proctor, was out of the way, Abigail and John would be together again. Therefore, she told everyone that Elizabeth's spirit was trying to kill her and accused Elizabeth of being a witch.

Fear also played an important role in The Crucible. The girls were afraid of being accused as witches themselves, so they started accusing other people in the town of being witches. Moreover, many people who were accused of being witches confessed to being witches because they were scared of death. People who confessed to witchcraft and dealing with the devil only stayed in the jail for a short time while others who refused to give in were hanged. Towards the end of the play, Abigail and Mercy ran away with huge amounts of money because they were afraid that if the authorities found out that they were lying they would be punished severely.

The theme of reputation and quest for people is also portrayed clearly in The Crucible. In the old days, children were considered unimportant. They weren't allowed to speak until given permission to, and they didn't make important decisions at all. However, during the witch court trials, Abigail and other girls had the power to say who was innocent and who was guilty. Probably, for the first time in their lives, they had power over Salem and they wanted to maintain it. Moreover, the authorities of Salem were afraid of losing authorities and power. For example, the judges, Governor Danforth and Ezekiel Cheever didn't want to admit that they were being fooled by a bunch of girls so they insisted that witchcraft existed in the town of Salem.
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