Premium Essay

Social Order In The Crucible

Submitted By
Words 1366
Pages 6
The Salem witch trials are notoriously known for the killings of innocent inhabitants of Salem. Some say the cause of their deaths could be traced back to Salem’s strict social order. The structure of 1600’s Salem was very religion-based as it was woven into everyday life. The government was a theocracy, the priests were highly respected, and anyone who went against the government was considered evil. Arthur Miller’s The Crucible unveils the realistic effect of social order on one’s personal freedom. Because religion was so vital in 1600’s Salem’s social order, the inhabitants suffered from a lack of personal freedom.
The structure of the Puritan society in colonial Massachusetts served an important role in the setting of The Crucible. The …show more content…
The church, which controlled everything was against many things, including the devil, disobeying the Ten commandments and yet somehow they were also against the normality of reading books, dancing, and reading fortunes. Their theocratic views made it difficult for others to pursue their personal interests. For example, when Abigail and the girls were dancing, Abigail admits, “Uncle we did dance; let you tell them I confessed it-- and I’ll be whipped if I must be.”(Miller 10) For girls living in 1600’s Salem dancing was not allowed and they were given a punishment of whipping. Not only was dancing frowned upon but so was the simple act of reading. Giles Corey expresses, “I never said my wife were a witch Mr.Hale; I only said she were reading books!”(Miller 41) Reading can lead to one being accused of being a witch. Martha Corey, already accused of witchcraft also has the Judges believing a witch since she reads fortunes, the judge expresses, “Now, Martha Corey, there is abundant evidence in our hands to show that you have given yourself to the reading fortunes. Do you deny it?.”(Miller 83) Women pursuin their personal interests were shunned upon in Salem since they can be traced to practicing witchcraft. Reading fortunes, dancing and reading books can be seen as a threat that the women are practicing witchcraft. Due to Salem’s religious social order making an impact on people’s lives, most people could not do what they pleased to do in the fear of getting

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Lack Of Social Responsibility In The Crucible By Arthur Miller

...Social responsibility is the ethical framework which suggests that an entity, be it an organization or individual, has an obligation to act for the benefit of the society as a whole. A historical example of failure to be social responsible is Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime, during the World War II era. During that time Hitler’s ideology and lack of social responsibility towards the citizens led to the death of millions of people. The citizens of Germany were incapable of taking responsibility and standing up for the millions of people that suffered and died. The society of WWII Germany is similar to that of Salem’s in The Crucible written by Arthur Miller because one of the larger issues in the community is the lack of social responsibility from the citizens and judicial system causing the hysteria and deaths in the Salem witch trials of 1692....

Words: 631 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Conformity In The Crucible

...In Arthur Millers play, The Crucible, many themes are displayed through his writing. One of the main themes in his piece is the idea of conformity. There are so many situations that people conform in, some of which include; trying to fit in, not knowing what is the right thing to do, and often time people conform due to fear. Fear is something that can cause you to make both good and bad decisions. In The Crucible, fear is one of the main reasons for conformity, there are many reasons for why this happens and all of those are explained in the play. While depending on the situation while conform, or choose not to conform, based on the conditions they are in. In some situations we will often accuse others of actions they did not do in order...

Words: 761 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

John Proctor The Crucible Analysis

...Proctor also having a name in society, land, power, and at first having fear of his social status but instead chooses honesty and integrity. Danforth's motivation is to preserve his status as a judge good in the town before the cause of justice "…, interfere with an exact loyalty to his position and his cause." (Miller 79) Parris's motivation continues to be his reputation. Proctor motivation is to save his wife. Their attitudes towards the witch trials are all different which is how they view law/order/authority as well; Proctor sees it as being extremely irrational but as for Parris and Danforth they see it as a way to bring back order ironically. Miller shows through Proctor that integrity is not putting one's life before group of other out of false allegations and that's what he shows through Parris and...

Words: 730 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

The Crucible

...The Crucible This essay will discuss, explain and evaluate the main ideas, themes and interpretations of Arthur Miller’s, The Crucible. It will also explain and evaluate the language Arthur Miller uses and how it contributed to the overall success of the play. The Crucible is set in 1692 in the puritan town of Salem, Massachusetts, a theocratic society, where the laws of the land are laid down by the church. The main idea running throughout the play can be viewed as a direct comparison to McCarthyism which was happening in 1950’s America, in which members of the general public including public figures such as Arthur Miller were brought in and questioned over connections to communism. This can be seen as a direct comparison to people being brought into the Salem courts regarding connections with witchcraft. It was not until Miller saw this comparison that he then felt compelled to write The Crucible as he now felt he could get into the minds of those going through similar circumstances back in the Salem witch trials. Hysteria was the main cause of nineteen deaths in the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, and countless ruined reputations on account of Joe McCarthy. Hysteria does not just appear out of nowhere though. There are driving forces such as revenge and abuse of power that bring about the irrational fear that can take over society. These are the issues expressed in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. The Crucible is paralleled directly to the Salem Witch Trials and indirectly...

Words: 1091 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Reading and Defence of the Crucible

...Task One Reading and Defence of The Crucible Prepared for Ms. Mussig Prepared by Maya Young English Extension Part One: The Reading Created from the mind of the world renowned playwright and author Arthur Miller, is the horrifying story of deceit, accusation and guilt of The Crucible. Written in 1953, The Crucible is a confronting play that explores the unfathomable true events that took place in the small religious village of Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, where by members of the Salem community began accusing others of dealing with and practising the magic of the Devil. These accusations are what led to the Salem witch-trials. Through this play Miller is able to emphasise the absurdity of these trials, which resulted in the hangings of twenty innocent people. I personally came across The Crucible through my English Extension class. To be perfectly honest, when I first picked up this text, I was unsure of what to expect. Apart from reading Shakespeare, I had never been exposed to reading in the playwright form. I did not know what my approach to the play was going to be or how I would react to reading it, or if there was a certain way in which I was supposed to be affected by it. I also had yet to read a text written by Arthur Miller, so I was unaware of his style of writing and again did not know what to expect from it. After finishing the play for the first time I was satisfied that I had thoroughly enjoyed reading the story, whilst developing a love...

Words: 2843 - Pages: 12

Premium Essay

Isolation in Society

...Arthur Miller’s The Crucible exposes conflicts between the characters and the Christian society of Salem, Massachusetts 1692. The concept of social pressure and rules are used to establish the play. If the common man in Salem is to work proficiently in his surroundings, he must participate in all social activities or he faces the consequences of untrue allegations. Miller uses the character John Proctor as a prime example whose individuality ultimately isolates him from his community. Proctor tries to avoid any involvement in the Salem witch trials. His reason for this attempt is motivated by his past fault of committing adultery with Abigail Williams, who is leading the accusations. As the pressure from his peers grow on him, Proctor must decide whether to save himself, or to die and save Salem. The theme individual v. society exists through the character John Proctor. Proctor is cautious to speak openly due to his affair. He attempts to isolate himself from the first proceedings of the trial by stating to Reverend Hale, “I’ve heard you to be a sensible man Mr. Hale. I hope you’ll leave some of it in Salem.” (Miller 1231). Proctor is trying to cleanse himself entirely of his affair, rather than get involved with the community. Elizabeth, his wife, encourages Proctor to speak out about his knowledge against false accusations against her. He is hesitant and responds, “I know I cannot keep [confessing his crime]. I say I will think on it!” (Miller 1237). Before Proctor can...

Words: 534 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Migration of My Dad's Stupid Job

...The Crucible Act Four Questions Short Response Answer the following questions based on your knowledge of the drama. Write a response on a separate sheet of paper. 1. Where does Tituba think that the Devil is going to take her? 2. Give one example of how Abigail shows her dishonesty in this act. 3. What effect do the trials have on Salem? Use three details from the drama to support your answer. 4. When first arrives at the Salem jail, Danforth complains, “There is a prodigious stench in this place.” How might this line be read to mean something besides a comment on the smell? 5. How is Giles Corey’s character reflected in his death? Use one detail from the drama to support your response. 6. What qualities does Proctor find within himself that prevent him from at last saving himself and signing the confession? Use details from the text to support your response. 7. Explain how Proctor is right or wrong for refusing to sign the confession. Use details to support your response. 8. A tragic hero’s fate, according to Aristotle, inspires pity and horror. Name the tragic hero in The Crucible, and describe how his or her fate inspires both pity and horror. 9. People accused of being Communists had a difficult time getting jobs; some even moved out of the United States in order to try to resume normal lives. How is Proctor’s situation like that of the people accused of Communist activities? 10. Based on the conversation involving Tituba, Sarah...

Words: 2431 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

Reality In The Crucible

...The Merging of Reality and History to Create Awareness The early 1692, nineteen men and women were convicted and hanged for witchcraft in a small town in Massachusetts. Hysteria spread throughout the town making it easy for one to believe even the most trusted person in town could be guilty (Salem). Meanwhile, in the early 1950s, a similar paranoia spread throughout Washington D.C. urging Arthur Miller, an up and coming playwright, to create a story that would grab an audience, and bring awareness to a budding crisis (Arthur). The Crucible tells the story of the power of hysteria during the Salem Witch Trials in a way that relates more to the underlying topic of the Red Scare rather than the actual history. Arthur Miller significantly changes...

Words: 734 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Comparing The Crucible And George Clooney's Good Luck

...Whether in be in Puritan styled courtroom or in a 50’s styled broadcasting room, both Arthur Miller's The Crucible and George Clooney’s Good night, and Good Luck have many similarities although set in completely different centuries. Both Miller and clooney created their masterpieces with the intent of making a social commentary on the corruption of power and the dangers of envy. Miller does so by writing of the judges who convict dozens of innocent people of witchcraft with no evidence. Clooney, does so by displaying senator McCarthy as an overzealous, unstable leader that would accuse innocent people of being communist and having communist sympathies. Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and George Clooney’s Good Night and Good Luck prove what happens...

Words: 318 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

The Crucible Female Hysteria Essay

...against women. For instance, "Female Hysteria" used to be a medical term for women who showed any type of abnormal behavior. In fact, the word "Hysteria" is greek, meaning "Uterus". This is due to the fact that women are viewed as the weaker gender. The play, "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller is about a mistress name Abigail Williams what wants John Proctor to be her lover for life, but Mr. Proctor would not leave his wife, Elizabeth Proctor, for her. So, Abigail seeks vengeance...

Words: 953 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Reverend Hale Character Analysis Essay

...Characterization of Reverend John Hale Throughout The Crucible, Arthur Miller uses the characterization of an archetypal hero, Reverend John Hale, to reveal how when arrogant and nationalistic pride becomes involved even the most intelligent and moral man’s moral compass can be distorted. This universal truth and Hale’s archetypal characteristics were revealed by Miller to reprehend those who fell into McCarthyism and the flaws in the American society in the nineteen-fifties, which were impacts of their blinded morals. To comprehend the idea of this specific universal truth, one first must understand Hale’s characterization through Aristotle’s archetypal hero traits. The first criteria, Noble...

Words: 1688 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Dramatic Irony In The Crucible

...“A man may be aware that there is something...hollow in his own way of life, but still lack the power to express it in memorable language.” (Prudhoe). In the Crucible, several people notice the obvious corruption that lies in the Salem witch trials, but are unable to fight it due to lack of power. In Act three of The Crucible (1953), Arthur Miller expresses his frustration at the perpetual power grab under the façade of justice. Miller uses juxtaposition, dramatic irony, and selective dialogue in order to show how when struggling to clear one’s name, cold-hard facts are often overlooked in exchange for the promise of influence. The purpose of the act is to demonstrate that in every play for power, there must be pawns to manipulate and facts...

Words: 1247 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Women In The Crucible

...throughout history, have been demonized and demeaned, devalued and defaced, defiled and denounced. They are often the antagonist of our myths, tales, and fables. They are the antithesis of the masculine; sinful and volatile, opposed to the heroic and virtuous man. Centuries of art, literature, thought, and religious doctrine have painted women as temptresses and wicked witches. The female characters in Arthur Miller’s 1953 drama, The Crucible, reflect these ‘evil’ women of myth and legend. The patriarchal, austere society of the Puritan town of Salem during the witch trials demonstrates the societal effect of centuries of female vilification. Powerful women have historically been branded as witches or accused of evil deeds as a way to...

Words: 1907 - Pages: 8

Free Essay

The Individual in the Society

...May 17, 2010 English 10 H The Individual in The Society The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of the word individuality is: total character peculiar to and distinguishing an individual from others. The novel The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, play The Crucible by Arthur Miller and the poem “Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy all have underlying themes of the society influencing a character’s individuality. In each text, each character struggles with the difficulty of the society’s impact on their lives. Through each text we see the struggles and stress “the society” puts upon people. In “Barbie Doll,” the main character struggles with her self image, whereas in Catcher, Holden struggles with the society’s pressure to become materialistic. In The Crucible, every character is under the microscope and pressured to stay in order and not to step out of perfection. If they do not do as told or what is thought to be the correct way to act they will be accused of witchcraft even if innocent. The society has such a large impact on each and every one of these characters, that without a doubt each character has been influenced one way or another. In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden faces the pressure of the society alone and struggles with the ability of keeping his individuality from slipping out of his grips. The society in this novel brings upon the pressure of having everything, even if it means really having nothing at all. Holden feels he cannot be himself in the society surrounding...

Words: 1955 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Examples Of Power In The Crucible

...The Impact of Power in The Crucible Power can be influential and critical to society, but when people have too much power they have a sense of determination and fearlessness. When their power is threatened, it enables them to do anything and everything to maintain it. The Crucible by Arthur Miller describes the Salem witch trials. The play begins with Abigail Williams and her friends dancing in the woods. In an attempt to get John Proctor, after he ended their affair, Abigail curses his wife Elizabeth. The rumor of witchcraft is triggered when Abigail’s friends, Betty Parris and Ruth Putnam are both unable to move or talk when they became frightened when Reverend Parris found the group in the woods. Reverend Hale, a believed expert in witchcraft...

Words: 1097 - Pages: 5