A crucible has two definitions, one being a vessel in which metal is heated to a high temperature and melted for the purposes of casting, having been purified. An Alternative sense of the word may be as the focus of a baptism by fire, by which a metamorphosis in political, social, and cultural relations takes place, driven by agents of change. When a community presents a toxic environment which is seen to be flawed in major aspects of effective functionality, good may only triumph when certain individuals rise up against such a destructive system and refuse conformity in a dire attempt to reform the society for the better, despite the often tragic personal consequences. Thus the corruptness of a society can only be ameliorated by the personal sacrifice of such individuals who refuse conformity and choose to uphold their moral vision, despite the friction. This phenomenon is not only found in The Crucible, but it is universal; applicable to any culture during any era, and is a continually recurring theme in literature. It’s roots can be traced back to biblical stories, in which several of the first and most famous instances of this phenomenon can be seen in the crucifixion of Christ, in which Christ willingly died in order to change society and for the bettering of man kind, or in Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son despite the act’s complications. Other instances of this can be found in The Crucible with major characters such as Giles and John Proctor who act as the nonconformists, and it can also be seen in the case of Socrates, the ancient Greek philosopher and Mohamed Bouazizi, the man who instigated the Arab Spring. These instances will be closely analyzed for their parallels and distinct similarities in distinct rel...
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... them to acknowledge the unjust state of affairs that persists in the deteriorating city-state. Socrates believed it was better to die, than to live untrue to oneself, and live unable to practice philosophy, by asking people his questions. Thus, we can see Socrates was a nonconformist in Ancient Greek society, as he laid down his life in the hopes of saving his state, by opening the eyes of the jury to the corruptness and evils of society. Socrates also laid down the framework for a paradigm shift to occur in his city, as his acquired a formidable fan group, or following, of individuals, who, began to preach his philosophy and continue his Socratic method of questioning and teaching. Socrates philosophy is still influential and studied today, thus his ways of thinking about life, truth and knowledge, changed the way western society perceives the world.
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