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Meaning Of Names In The Crucible By Arthur Miller

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Names usually possess a significant meaning behind them: someone could be named after a close relative, pets named after their owner’s favorite comic character, an email address named after their favorite pastime. However, sometimes the meaning of a name is less obvious. In The Crucible, Arthur Miller recreates the anxiety and hysteria of the Salem witch-trials from 1692. Although the title, not once is the word “crucible” spoken in the play. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “crucible” three ways: “A pot in which metals or other substances are heated to a very high temperature or melted”, “a difficult test or challenge”, and “a place or situation that forces people to change or make difficult decisions” (“Crucible”). The definitions …show more content…

Amongst the dancers was Abigail Williams, an orphan and servant to Reverend Parris. When accusations of witchcraft targeted the girls, Abigail lies and confesses to Satanism: “I danced with the Devil; I saw him; I wrote in his book; I go back to Jesus; I kiss his hand. I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil!” (Miller 48). The puritans fear the devil so much that they willingly believe Abigail’s accusations of those consorting with the devil and imprison those she points her finger towards. Thus, Abigail uses her newfound influence to arrest the wife of her paramour, John Proctor, revealing her true feelings of greed and passion during the madness of the witch trials. Abigail was not the only abuser of mayhem; similar acts of greed and jealousy surfaced as the trials proceeded. Giles Corey, an old farmer of Salem, accuses Thomas Putnam, a wealthy and influential citizen of Salem, of making his daughter accuse landowners of witchcraft: “If Jacobs hangs for a witch he forfeits up his property—that’s law! And there is none but Putnam with the coin to buy so great a piece. This man is killing his neighbors for their land....The day his daughter cried out on Jacobs, he said she’d given him a fair gift of land” (Miller 96). Thomas Putnam 's greed uses the trials as means of monetary gain, thus prolonging the trials. Salem became a boiling pot of madness that melted away everyone 's pure and lustrous facade,

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