The Crucible Essay Research Paper The witch

The Crucible Essay, Research Paper

The witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts in the early

sixteen hundreds was a time of uneasiness and suspicion.

Anyone could easily turn in his or her neighbor on the

ground of witchcraft. Someone could merely say their

neighbor’s spirit had attacked them during the night, which

no man can prove. Nevertheless, as a God-fearing community,

they could not think of denying the evidence, because to

deny the existence of Evil is to deny the existence of

Goodness, which is God.

The most important scene in the play was act two, scene

three, where John Proctor is able to talk with his wife,

Elizabeth, one last time. He decides that he will “confess”

to the crime of witchcraft, thereby avoiding being hung.

However, to accept what he said, the judge also requires him

to sign a written confession which states that he confessed

to the crime of witchcraft. Judge Danforth would post it on

the church door, to use Proctor as an example to get other

people to confess. That upset Proctor greatly, because

people would look down on him with disdain, and it would

blacken forever his name.

What was most important to him was to make a stand

against the insanity of the town, for himself and for God,

and using that as a last resort to make people aware of what

was happening. This last stand for righteousness is an

example of proctor’s great character and rationale.

Arthur Miller wrote his play, The Crucible, a story about

the Salem witch trials, and the panic resulting from it, as

an allegory to show people the insanity of the McCarthy

hearings. He wrote it as an allegory so that, if tried by

McCarthy, he could say, “it’s just a play about the witch

trials in Salem. How do you get this communist idea from

it?” The story illustrates how people react to mass

hysteria, created by a person or group of people desiring

fame, as people did during the McCarthy hearings.

Arthur Miller, acting as a great visionary, warned

us that if we did not become aware of history repeating

itself, our society would be in danger. At the same time,

he had to do this in a matter that would not get him

arrested, hence the witch-trial mechanization.


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