Modernism In The Crucible

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Lawrence Hu Mr. Ryan Smith Honors Junior English 6 26 September 2014 Modernism Portrayed Through Mary Warren Modernism is a movement inspired by the effects of World War I, where modern culture began to take shape, and literature, as well as many other forms of art experienced massive changes. The modernist movement became prominent in 1919, when most of the world was experiencing chaos and despair, such as the effects of The Great Depression. The surroundings were perceived with unease, which had left the people anxious for what was to come next. The era during the Salem Witch Trials in Salem, Massachusetts illustrates world as a scene of ruin and decay; a main point of the modernist aesthetic. The character, Mary Warren, in Arthur Miller's…show more content…
She hands Elizabeth Proctor, an innocent housewife, a poppet, and says that she saved Elizabeth’s life in court that day when her name came up. Mary says she testified against the court, saying she has never seen any sign of witchcraft in the Proctor’s household. Reverend Hale, an intellectual witch-hunter, asks Mary if a spirit is making her say these things, and Mary says no. She also said that Abigail was next to her, watching her make the doll. When Abigail is found with a needle inside her belly, she uses the injury as a plan to convict Elizabeth of witchcraft because there was a needle found inside the poppet that Mary gave her. This makes Mary suffer even more, but she still refuses to testify against Abigail and the other girls. However, when Proctor convinces her, she agrees to go. Through her inner chaos of deciding whether to testify, Mary’s consciousness collapses, much like how the world was after the devastating effects of World War I. The modernist aspect of emphasis on the individual is also represented by Mary because of the focus of her inner self in the play. When Proctor asks her to convict Abigail of lying, Mary responds She’ll kill me for saying that! Abby’ll charge lechery on you, Mr. Proctor! (Miller 80). Her response also shows the complex character of…show more content…
When the court asks her to do it again, she cannot. Judge Danforth brings the other girls to the court room and asks them if they have also been pretending, but they say no. Suddenly, the girls pretend Mary is sending a spirit of a bird into the courtroom, and is trying to attack the girls. A judge from the court, Judge Danforth, and Proctor are both trying to get Mary to confess, but she says she cannot. The girls are mimicking everything Mary is saying. Giving in to peer pressure and the pressure to be hanged, Mary confesses that Proctor is a Devil’s man. Throughout the scene, Mary says she wants to be with God, No, I love God; I go your way no more. I love God, I bless God. Abby, Abby, I’ll never hurt you no more! (Miller 119). Her desire to be with god also shows Mary’s inner turmoil by trying to decide if she wants to confess. She ultimately decides to reveal that Proctor is a Devil’s man. In modernist view, Mary has reshaped her entire environment by transforming the atmosphere of the situation into making the fault on Proctor, when she confessed without any supernatural

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