How Does Arthur Miller Present Human Failings In The Crucible

Good Essays

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. Thomas Putnam establishes conflict by vying for land with other characters. From the outset, he is bitter and …show more content…

She screams and writhes as, "Stuck two inches in the flesh of her belly, [Parris] draw a needle out." (Miller, ) Envy even pushes Abigail to inflict pain on herself. To frame Elizabeth, she resorts to extreme and desperate means of proof. She casts away all shreds of morality, religion, and common sense to pursue her treasure. Anne Putnam exposes similar motives for accusing Rebecca Nurse. Francis Nurse quotes the arrest warrant for his wife, "For the marvelous and supernatural murder of Goody Putnam's babies." (Miller, ) Goody Putnam envies the Nurses because they already have a large clan of offspring while they are left with one weak child. Envy and jealousy play a key role in Goody Putnam's decision to blame Rebecca. To obtain vengeance, they accuse Rebecca in hopes to solve their own misfortune. The Putnams envy her success and instead of celebrating their happiness and cherishing their only child, they choose the immoral action and strike back at their scapegoat, Rebecca. Abigail plays a cruel trick on Proctor to try to resolve her envy, and the Putnams condemn Rebecca Nurse to death for some false hope in their lives. Envy encourages ordinary people to feel disappointed, but it encourages the ones without strong ethics to strike back and take revenge. In The Crucible, this revenge takes the form of unreasonable trials of innocent people.

Get Access