The Crucible Evil And Greed In Man

The Crucible: Evil And Greed In Man Essay, Research Paper

The Crucible: Evil and Greed In Man

High personal, acquisitions, evil desires and massive greed took part in

shortening the fuse of the chaotic corruption of the Salem witch trials. Amidst

the quiet and peaceful period of the Puritan era in America, not everything

seemed as they were. Disorder and sin heightened the animosity and deteriorated

the very center of a solemn and strong virtuous society. The Puritan belief in

the basic evil of man is evident in Arthur Millers The Crucible through the

actions of Abigail Williams and Reverend Parris.

The main character who first brings forth this ruckus is Abigail Williams. Her

desire directs towards John Procter, a married man, and she does anything to win

his heart. She even tries to put a hex on his wife, Elizabeth Procter. When

Betty awakens and confronts Abigail, about the spell, “You did, you did! You

drank a charm to kill John Procters wife” (Miller 19). This quote allows the

reader to become aware of the severity of Abbys ruthlessness. Her loathing of

Mrs. Procter goes to such great lengths that she would go beyond the point of

extremities. An example of her demonic acts, is when she mutilates her stomach

with a sewing needle and claims it to be Elizabeth Procters voodoo spell. “and

struck two inches in the flesh of her belly, he draw a needle outshe testify it

were your familiar spirit pushed it in.” (Miller 71). From this, it can be

conceived that she would disastrously knock down any obstacle to get what she


Another character who brings greed upon themselves is the Reverend Parris. He

uses his high social status as a priest as an excuse to obtain that of which he

considers is a requirement for such a prestigious man as he believes to be. In

an argument between Reverend Parris and Giles Cory, Giles disagrees on Parris

having ownership of the chapel house and the amount of money he gets for his

services. “Mr. Cory, you will look far for a man of my kind at sixty pound a

year!” (Miller 28). His selfish self-centered ways are so perverse that he would

take advantage of the Lord for his own prerogative. Reverend Parriss voracity

overtakes him so much that it consumes him into callow motives. In a quarrel

between John Procter and Reverend Parris, John brought up past preachings of

Reverend Parris repeatedly demanding things of small detail. “But Parris came,

and for twenty week he preachin nothin but golden candlesticks until he had

them.” (Miller 62). This shows how arrogance can make a person stoop to petty


Both characters, Abigail Williams and Reverend Parris best exemplifies the

sinister and basic evil of man. Their repulsive greediness was the root in

setting off the great explosion of the Salem witch trials. The Salem witch

trials was the epitome of the insanity and mass hysteria conjured up by a lie.

From this, Puritan society withered away almost to the extent of nothingness,

only alive as a reminder of how one thing can lead to another.


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