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
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 ...
... middle of paper ...
... 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
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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