A Theme of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, is not an accurate historical account, but rather an accurate portrayal of the Salem witch trials of 1692 in Massachusetts. Miller makes minor changes to the events that occurred during the trials such as the genuine names of the victims, the total number of people that were executed, and the correct ages of the characters. During the time of the witch trials, people follow their strict Puritan beliefs. They believe in hard work, prayer, and Bible study, and introspection. Miller tells of how the Salem minister catches several young girls dancing in the forest.
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This is a sign that the girls are practicing evil, because dancing is not permitted in the Puritan faith. The witch trials were a time of much grief, because many innocent people died without proof and guilt ruined many lives. Miller tells in detail about the witch trials and how the townspeople accept guilt of “witches” without evidence. People use witchcraft to gain vengeance. One of the most important themes in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible is that good, mercy, and justice do not always triumph over evil. In his play, The Crucible, Arthur Miller describes his character Rebecca Nurse as the best example of goodness.
Rebecca Nurse is well respected in the town. She is very good with children and is called every time someone is about to give birth. She is also called upon when people become ill. She offers her help to anyone that is in need of it. She is one of the strongest members in the local church. Goody Nurse is the cornerstone of the church. She is a strong Christian and follows all Christian beliefs. She dies because she is not willing to sacrifice her principles to survive. She is a good person, but this does not prevent people from accusing her of evil.
Because she is accused of witchery, she is hung like everyone else. She knows that she can lie to save herself, but she wants to retain her Christian beliefs and not turn to the ways of Satan. Because she is a strong Christian, she knows that there is a higher court after death and that her final judgment will resort in her placement in heaven. This is an example showing that goodness does not always triumph over evil. In The Crucible, Miller describes the character Reverend Hale to be the best example of mercy. Hale is summoned to come to Salem to investigate witchcraft and rid the town of evil.
Hale believes he is the only one who is able to recognize witchcraft When Hale arrives in Salem, he brings big, thick books along with him. The large books, that he carries, show his confidence in his ability to free Salem of witchcraft. Hale believes that justice will be served. During the trials, Hale is trying to identify who are witches and who are not by talking to the townspeople. Hale realizes that the women are beginning to accuse other people in revenge or to save themselves. Once he realizes that everyone is lying about being a witch, he leaves and goes into the wilderness to pray and seek God’s guidance.
He soon returns to Salem with a change of heart. He previously tried to find the truth, but now he insists that people lie to save themselves from persecution. He tells everyone that life is more important than their personal pride. He begins to accept the responsibility for those that have previously been hung. Miller uses his character John Proctor to represent justice in his work, The Crucible. John Proctor opposes authority in Miller’s play. He is portrayed as the protagonist in The Crucible. He acts as an individual and breaks away from established authority.
Proctor is a man of great mind and has personal integrity and uses rational thinking. He is often viewed as the voice of reason and does not believe in witchcraft. He follows Christian principles more than the other townspeople. Proctor hates that people would lie in order to save themselves. He loathes hypocrisy because they are testifying to something that is not true. Proctor has strong moral principles with one exception. Hale asks him to recite the Ten Commandments and he forgets one of them, which in his case is the most important, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.
” He denies all accusations of his affair with Abigail until the trial. He then admits to the affair in order to save his name and his wife. His confession shows that his principles are stronger than anything else. Though John Proctor tries to do the right thing in the end, his death shows that justice does not always triumph over evil. In Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible tells in detail of the Salem witch trials. He describes how witchcraft became part of everyday life among Puritans, whether they want it to be part of their lives or not. He describes how people would lie to save themselves, and confess that other women were witches.
The false accusations led to more hardships among family and friends. The lies ruined many lives during the Salem witch trials. Miller’s play was an accurate portrayal, but it is not accepted as an accurate historical account. The townspeople of Salem participated to save themselves from persecution. It is outlandish that the Puritans came to America to escape religious persecution and they are now persecuting others. Miller uses Rebecca Nurse to show us that goodness does not always triumph over evil and that even the finest people are sometimes accused of crimes.
She was hung because she refused to lie to save herself. Because she was such a strong member of the church she refused to give in to the devils wishes. Miller uses Hale to show that mercy does not always triumph over evil. Hale comes to Salem to distinguish if witchcraft is present within the community. He believes that justice will be served by the courts, but his idea of justice changes at the end of the play. He becomes merciful to the people who were accused and tried to convince them to lie to save themselves.
John Proctor is the example that Miller used to show that justice will not always triumph over evil. Proctor was a strong Christian and he felt that he should confess to the affair that he previously had with Abigail. He felt that he should tell the truth to possibly get his wife freed from persecution because he felt she was innocent. Miller shows that the ideals and actions of Rebecca Nurse, Reverend Hale, and John Proctor could not prevail over evil. Miller shows us that goodness, mercy, and justice do not always lead to all of the better things in life. Not all things in life go the way that is planned.