Essay, Research Paper: Crucible

Literature: Arthur Miller

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In Arthur Miller’s, “The Crucible,” many themes are expressed throughout
the play. Themes are the undertone of the story. A theme of a book usually sets
the mood and describes what is happening during the time that the story is
written. “The Crucible” has many themes that show how everything was and how
everyone acted in the year of 1692, in Salem, Massachusetts. Mass hysteria is
the most obvious theme in the story. Mass hysteria is represented everywhere
trouble was. One example is at the end of act one when the girls are screaming,
crying, and starting to accuse people of being with the devil. When this
happens, everyone gets scared and calls the marshal. The marshal begins to
arrest people and brings them to court. The whole reason mass hysteria broke out
is because of Abigail. One vengeful accusation from Abigail to her rival,
Elizabeth Proctor, turns the whole village upside down. This confusion and
madness is one of the main reasons so many lives were taken at the trials. This
becomes a place where reasonable human beings can become released in an
environment that allows little opportunity for relaxing. Another theme during
the play is how much religion ruled these peoples lives. The court was the main
ruling body of justice and was run by the church. The concept of justice in 1692
is shown when Arthur Miller dedicates the entire third act to the courtroom.
Abigail pressures the girls to lie in court in order to accuse everyone that
they didn’t get along with of witchcraft. The separation of church and
government didn’t exist in 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts. Theocracy meant that
Massachusetts was to be governed by God's laws. But this mixing up of the laws
of God and the laws of government set up the chaos of the Salem witch trials.
Greed and revenge was another major aspect that was shown in the story. Several
characters find profit in this mass hysteria and try to change some events for
their own needs and well-being. Thomas Putnam gains land by having his daughter
Ruth accuse his neighbors of witchcraft. Also, Abigail gets revenge on the
Proctors when her affair with John has been turned off. Superstition was the
biggest cause of these trials. There were no real witches in Salem. Without the
superstitious belief in witchcraft, this tragedy would have never happened.
Arthur Miller clearly explains the how people react to things they do not
understand. These were examples why The Salem Witch Trials happened. The theme
of the story keeps the plot going. Themes are one of the most important parts in
a play. Arthur Miller gives good examples and explains what it was really like
back in 1692 by showing how people acted. All these different moods and themes
led up to the witch trials. If all these untrusting feelings, superstitions, and
attitudes didn’t exist the trials would have probably never existed.

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