The Crucible - fear and suspicion Essay

1944 Words 8 Pages
In the Crucible, Arthur Miller shows us how fear and suspicion can destroy a community.

As the play develops, Miller shows us how fear and suspicion increase and destroy the community. Throughout the play it becomes apparent that the community gets more and more divided as time goes on. In the beginning there were arguments about ownership of land between some of the villagers. As the story progresses people fear for their own safety and begin accusing their neighbours of witchcraft in order to escape being hanged.

Salem became overrun by the hysteria of witchcraft. Mere suspicion itself was accepted as evidence. As a Satan-fearing community, they could not think of denying the evidence, because to deny the existence
of
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Whilst living in a repressive society one can become paranoid, permanently on guard, living an anxious life. Though things soon get too intense and adolescent girls have no outlet for natural feelings, so they take to dancing in the woods - an innocent enough pastime. In a society that are forever on the lookout for any signs of the devil, dancing can lead many to assume the worst - that they had 'trafficked with spirits in the forest.' And that there were 'unnatural causes.'
This may not necessarily be true as when Parris first confronts
Abigail she denies it and says 'It were sport uncle!' She is trying to save herself from punishment.

The fear of devils and witches lead to the problem in Act 1 which never get resolved, just keep getting worse and worse. The major problem then led to other fears - fear of punishment, fear of gossip and a tarnished reputation.

Hysteria ensues as the townspeople of Salem consider there may be witchcraft in their midst, and begin to recall friends and neighbours' past actions that have been suspicious. This becomes clear when
Proctor says 'I'll tell you what's walking Salem now--vengeance is walking Salem. We are what we always were in Salem, but now the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law!'

People took advantage of the situation and used it to the best of their abilities. Conniving and scheming to gain more land for their crops although
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