How does Arthur Miller’s The Crucible explore the place of the individual in society? Similar to Tocqueville before him, John Stuart Mill was critical about the American democracy and its resulting social pressures on the individual. The consequences of the tyranny of conformity sat at the forefront of his mind. Frank Prochaska in his review of Mill described the term as ‘a society in which scarcely any person had the courage to dissent.’ Arthur Miller draws on this idea in The Crucible by exploring the individual’s place in society as something firmly rooted and inescapable, as well as the individual’s place as capable of changing society through having the courage to deny society what it asks. The Crucible depicts the protagonist as having to come to terms with the community to understand themselves and their position within it. Miller uses the motif of social pressures and religious laws to set up the basis for the play, with the Salem citizens entrenched in a society that relies on strict social norms to maintain order in the community. An almost exact definition of tyranny of conformity. Individuality, here, is the ability to retreat into families and homes. In 1692, however, Salem is shaken at its foundations by greed for land from neighbours and insecurity in property. Furthermore, the Reverend Parris, head of the theocracy, is materialistic and is focused on his own needs over the communities. The struggle for the communities survival is what brings about the witch
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Irving Wallace, an American author and screenwriter, once stated: “To be one’s self, and unafraid whether right or wrong, is more admirable than the easy cowardice of surrender to conformity.” Wallace admired those who were not afraid to be the “lone wolf” and stick to their own individual ideas and character, no matter the consequences. People often view submission as the one and only route; they see a majority of the population following one another and figure it is the best option. Unfortunately, conformity does have its consequences. In The Crucible, Miller reveals that the overwhelming pressures to conform causes one’s rationality to be diminished, resulting in the destruction of their morals and ultimately a society through his use of situational and dramatic irony.
Few people are willing to stand up to the overwhelming power of authority, especially during a time like the Red scare. Hardly any authors are able to recognize meaningful similarities between the present times and an event that happened many years ago—and write about it effectively. Only one has had the courage and intelligence to do both. Arthur Miller was an American author who wrote plays, essays, and stories and has published works dating from to 1936 through 2004. The Crucible, one of his most famous plays, premiered in New York on January 22, 1953 (InfoTrac). It is a historical-fiction story set in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. The witch hunt described in this play is similar to the Red Scare, an anti-communist movement led by
How many people have you met in your life that is stronger because of a difficult experience they went through? Most people are because we take these difficult experiences and grow from them and become better people. This is the exact case is expressed in the play, The Crucible, by Arthur Miller. The story begins in Salem, Massachusetts 1692 right in the middle of a period of witchcraft hysteria. During this time many people were accused of being witches and wrongly convicted by judges Danforth and Hathorne. The characters in the story are struggling because of a girl named Abigail who gets caught practicing witchcraft and then starts naming and accusing others so that she doesn’t get in trouble; one of these people being a well-respected farmer, John Proctor’s, wife Elizabeth. The title, The Crucible, refers to a test, trial, ordeal, formation by fire, and vessel baked to resist heat, and the entire story is an allegory meaning it has a hidden meaning. John Proctor symbolizes a crucible by embodying the definition of one, as he went through a test and was formed by fire.
A society that praises moral righteousness and piety is destroyed by a series of witch trials that are ironically immoral and unfair. The Salem Witch Trials are fueled by personal motives and feuds that emerge because of the restrictions in Puritan society. The society nurtures a culture of fear and distrust that stems from dread of the devil and strict adherence to the Bible. Salem is the perfect environment for fear and vengeance to spread through witchcraft accusations, because people have no other means to gain power or get revenge on enemies. In The Crucible, Arthur Miller portrays how the Puritan society in Salem influences the witch trials and increases their impact, because of the religion-based justice system, women and
Conformity is a belief that has conflicted people since the beginning of time. Conformity is the inner feeling that will make you second guess everything you do: should I go to my friends party or should I resist temptation and stay home and study, should I change my beliefs or stand alone in the crowd. Conformity is all around you and it is up to you to make the right choices. In Arthur Miller’s 1953 drama, The Crucible, Miller uses conformity by forcing the people of Salem to choose between being an outcast or being accepted but forced to live a life not true to themselves. Conformity plays a key role in the play because it shows the reader that everyone is hiding something and it gives a deeper meaning to some of the characters
Crucible, a noun defined as; a container of metal or refractory material employed for heating substances to high temperatures, in the traditional sense but, it also means a severe, searching test or trial. The latter of the two definitions is exactly what Arthur Miller had in mind when he wrote the play, The Crucible. The play set in Salem Massachusetts during the start of the infamous Salem Witch Trials, is about the struggle to discover truth within the twisted and brutal lies flying about the little town, started mainly by a young girl by the name of Abigail Williams. Abigail Williams, as we quickly come to know, is the past mistress of the prominent Mr. John Proctor, a local farmer. As the tension rises in the
Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible, focuses on the inconsistencies and injustice of the 1692 witch trials of Salem, Massachusetts. The restrictive Puritan society of Salem in the 17th century was based upon religious intolerance, where faith was demonstrated through physical labour and by strict adherence to religious doctrine. Material, physical and sexual desires were considered the Devil’s work and a threat to the very fabric of society. In summary, it is said that Puritanism discouraged individualism on all levels. The literal way in which the Bible was interpreted by the Puritans, provides a paradox within the play. This is because although the Bible says “thou shalt not kill,” the people of Salem are willing to sentence innocent
In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible the witch trials in Salem were a devastating time. The entire community was in disorder and chaos because of personal vengeance. This included accusations of innocent town’s people being called witches, so they hanged and were jailed. Throughout the play certain characters help the rise of witchcraft as well as the disapproval of all the innocent people who were being convicted for no reason. Reverend Hale is a dynamic character whom comes to rid of the evil spirits in Salem, yet he later tries to end the trials. Hale realizes the accusations are false, attempts to postpone the hangings, and persuade the victims to lie conveys that he is a dynamic character and changes throughout the play.
In the strict religious theocracy of Salem in the year 1692, “patrols invigilated every single activity and redressed the slightest mistake” (Lejri 91). The society affords little natural privacy to the villagers and they thus must strive to conceal their wrongdoings or risk becoming socially ostracized. In Arthur Miller’s 1953 tragedy The Crucible, this atmosphere of paranoia inevitably results in an internalization of guilt that any villager must ameliorate prior to attaining a sense of tranquility. Miller traces protagonist John Proctor's relationship with guilt to reveal that, in a society that values strict adherence to established relationship norms such as monogamy, those burdened with guilt for failing to conform to such norms will suffer from its internalization until they finally take ownership of their actions and accept the resulting consequences. In the short term, they often attempt to redistribute their guilt privately. Should that not succeed, they will resort to more frantic methods of relieving themselves of culpability in the long term, even risking their own statures in the process. Ultimately, these tormented souls hold themselves accountable, achieving both intrapersonal and interpersonal harmony by taking full responsibility for their actions.
American playwright, Arthur Miller, in his play The Crucible, implies that witch hunts still exist in American society. Miller supports this claim by drawing parallels between the Salem Witch Trials and the Senator Joseph Mccarthy Trials. His purpose is to warn his readers of the dangers of mass hysteria. He uses emotional appeals and logic to convince the reader that mass “hunts” are still a danger to Americans today. The central way, however, that Miller achieves his topmost goal of displaying the hazards of Individuality vs. Ideology is through the expressive characterization of Reverend John Hale. John hale is an example of outward conformity because he believes in the devil in the beginning, he sees that the girls are
Arthur Miller writes about the tragic results of human failings in his play, The Crucible. He presents characters from the past and infuses them with renewed vitality and color. Miller demonstrates the horrifying results of succumbing to personal motives and flaws as he writes the painful story of the Salem witch trials. Not only do the trials stem from human failings but also from neglect of moral and religious considerations of that time. Characters begin to overlook Puritan values of thrift and hope for salvation. Focusing on the flawed characters, they begin to exhibit land lust, envy of the miserable and self-preservation.
One concept is capable of more destruction than almost anything else. It can change a person’s life, or end it. The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, is a play that is set in Salem, Massachusetts in the early 1690’s. The play revolves around the infamous Salem Witch Hunts and their proceedings both within the court and outside of the court. Within this plotline, a theme of greed functions in the play, influencing the actions of certain characters, including Reverend Parris, Thomas Putnam, and Abigail.
The Crucible by Arthur Miller is an interpretation of the Salem witch trials of 1692 in Puritan Massachusetts in which religion, self- preservation and self-dignity play a vital role. The three factors I listed played a huge role in John Proctor, Rebecca Nurse, Reverend Hale, Danforth and many other lives. Many other characters such as, Abigail Williams and her friends can be characterized by being greedy, bitter, and selfish. In the play, Miller reveals how people can go against their own morals, therefore they can protect themselves. In Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible, he reveals to readers how fear escalated in Salem because of people's desire for personal gain.
In every literary work, there are themes. A theme is a broad idea, moral or message of a book or story. One individual may construe the themes of a book or story differently than another, but that is the pure beauty of themes. One great literary work is The Crucible, a play written by Arthur Miller. Succinctly, the play is about the Salem witch trials that took place in Massachusetts in 1692. Throughout the story, the townspeople indict their neighbors of being a witch and practicing witchcraft. On the surface, this historical drama has a few universal and enduring themes. Themes are universal because regardless of where in the world, the ideas still relates to everyone and is understood. Themes are enduring because the ideas are found
Arthur Miller’s The Crucible is about the people of 17th century.Salem, Massachusetts situated in a dangerous and dynamic period. The Puritans of Salem joined the bandwagon of the witch hysteria that was first caused by girls falsely accusing others. The inhabitants of Salem feared for their lives as the people who were accused were subjected to death. However, the accused have a chance to save themselves by admitting to a crime they did not commit. Many took the opportunity for self-preservation because it is a human instinct of survival. However, there others who chose to uphold their ideals, name, and reputation. Self-preservation is the motivates the characters to behave and act when they are situated in a compromising situation about the involvement of witchcraft, but there are also times when it is abandoned.