Crucible Term Paper

This essay has a total of 1337 words and 5 pages.

Crucible Term Paper


Miller captured the paranoia and hatred of the 1692 Salem Witch Trials and made a
controversial reference to his own society's Witch Hunts during McCarthyism in the 1950s.
In only 146 pages, Miller told us the stories of the lives of John Proctor, Elizabeth
Proctor, Abigail Williams and others during the 1692 Witch Trials in Salem Massachusettes.
The quiet Salem community was living happily in their own sleepy world, until several
local girls fell ill as their sickness was blamed on witchcraft.

John Proctor was a farmer in his middle thirties. He did not have to be a partisan of any
faction in the town, but there was evidence in the books that he could not tolerate
hypocrites. This is perhaps the one thing that Proctor was afraid of becoming. He was a
kind man who could not refuse support to partisans without drawing their deepest anger. In
his presence a fool felt his foolishness instantly, consequently, a Proctor is always
marked for slander and defamation(Miller, 'The Crucible'; 20). Although he may come across
as a steady mannered individual, Proctor is not an untroubled man. His was a sinner
against his wife, a sinner against his community, a sinner against his own morals, and a
sinner against his Puritanical society. He was so troubled by this sin of adultery, that
he came to regard himself as a kind of a fraud, although he does not show it on the
surface for even a second.

Elizabeth Proctor, John's wife, is a strong woman who knows about her husband's sin but,
like John, does not let on to her secret. She spends most of the novel trying to cope with
her husband's sin and as she comes to terms with it, Elizabeth is able to once again
forgive her husband and make an effort to protect him from slander. This is what
ultimately gets her and her husband in trouble with the courts.

Abigail Williams is Proctor's partner in sin. She is one of the local girls who gets
afflicted by the devil. She is inherently evil and to cover up her own misgivings, she
ends up accusing almost have of her community of witchcraft and convinces the other
afflicted girls to do the same. To achieve this, Abigail threatens the girls with these
words: "Now look you. All of you. We danced. . .Let either of you breathe a word, or the
edge of a word, about the other things, and I will come to you in the black of some
terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you. And you know I
can do it. . .';(Miller, 'The Crucible'; 20).

She still loves John at the beginning of the novel, but quickly turns on him and his
family with the accusations of several people in the community including Proctor and his
wife, Elizabeth.

There are other characters in The Crucible that serve various purposes. All of his
characters have integral relation to the theme and no characters are introduced to
facilitate the mechanics of the plot. Sarah Good, along with Rebecca Nurse and others, is
one of the many accused witches Tituba is brought in to introduce the girls' motive for
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