The Theme Of Reputation In Arthur Miller's The Crucible

1059 Words5 Pages
“Reputation is only a candle of wavering and uncertain flame, and easily blown out, but it is the light which the world looks for to find its merit” (Lowell). The theme of reputation emerges over many events in The Crucible. It sustains many characters to misinterpret the true light in the world but reveal their anguish about how their loss of reputation will impact the effect in their lives. In the play, The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, a little town in the late 17th century, a group of Puritan girls are accused of witchcraft, including their leader, Abigail Williams. Out of revenge and resentment, Abigail deceives the town about the group being bewitched. As a result, all the characters have to face a crucible or trial of their own.…show more content…
Through her character of having the need of sympathy toward others, she then goes through severe measures to threaten the other girls of substantial cruelty to do her bidding. Abigail Williams is derived by many different aspects but her major motivation is her reputation. If people in the town identify her as an unmarried orphan woman who had an affair with a married man, she would have to face considerable ramifications. As the trial of witchcraft occurs, the town consulted with three judges and the one who was the most concern for his reputation was judge Danforth. He references many sentencings arrangements which he is biased toward in order to save his credibility from being destroyed. His extensive pride in his judgment and discernment is what makes him a corrupt judge to save his own reputation. Therefore, to preserve his reputation as a judge, he believes that “Postponement now speaks a floundering on my part; reprieve or pardon must cast doubt upon the guilt of them that died till now. While I speak God’s law, I will not crack its voice with whimpering” (119). He perceives his image very valuable to himself as he disallows Parris’ concerns to disrupt his belief in the genuineness of the decisions. Furthermore, a more symbolic sense is that Danforth represents his reputation as he affirms John Proctor that when “We burn a hot fire here; it melts down all concealment" ( 81)
Get Access