Symbolism In The Crucible

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The crucible: meaning a place or occasion of severe test or trial, it’s a test of how good or pure a substance is. The title alone symbolizes what’s going to happen in the play. The crucible is a play based on a true historical event that took place in Salem, Massachusetts (a small isolated town) in the late 1600’s. It’s basically little girls accusing people of being witches, and it causes a mass phobia, driven by fear, to break out. The people of Salem are Puritans, people who are plain, simple and the purpose of their lives is for god. They praise themselves on being the best of people, morally and ethically speaking. They value honesty and devotion to god, yet they are real people who suffer from real problems like lust, greed, lies and…show more content…
He is the kind of man-powerful of body, even tempered, and not easily led-who makes a fool feel his foolishness instantly” (1.20), indicates his superiority, strong principles (he refused to give names and tore up the confession), independence and his pride/ego. “And why not if they must hang for denying it? There are them that will swear to anything before they’ll hang; have you never thought of that” (2.69) determines that he’s not easily led and has his own opinions and principles; he is the first one to figure it out. He also was absent from church because he disliked the minister confirms his strong personality. Proctor constantly struggled between pride, his ego and guilt + sacrifice and theses three factors lead to his downfall, he’s the tragic hero. He may be a sinner but he knows wrong from right and feels guilty every day. He tries to make it up to his Elizabeth and please her, plus him going through all that trouble to free her and all the innocent people shows the goodness in him and how guilty and responsible he feels, it also confirms his persistence. Elizabeth says, “And yet…” (4.136) displays that she believes he is good. Parris on the other hand is a prideful, greedy, power-hungry, cowardly, selfish, reputation worrying, bitter and mean, corrupt and evil souled old man. (Hathrone sees him weeping but it’s for the money he losses) (4.124). He’s also the minister/priest and is afraid of being overthrown. Danforth…show more content…
The theocratic nature of the Salem society means that moral laws and state laws are the same; sin and the status of one's soul are matters of public concern as they can threaten the public good. All of this leads to the other themes of the play, namely hysteria, intolerance, and the importance of reputation. He uses the puritans to criticize America, “if she…” (2.77) and “where she walks…” (2.52). Miller's main message is how governments can abuse their power (the accusers in the play only accused for their own gain), power being the obvious reason is how government can move away from the interests of the many and become a force to serve the agendas of the few. The government depicted in Salem is without any type of check or institutional limitation and they over step all boundaries, “I have confessed…” (4.142). People who are accused by it are not without any sort of significant recourse nor can they engage in any authentic defense of self, because the government has become a tool of the powerful few, exerting its magnitude on the many. In this setting, the body politic is more afraid of accusation than anything else, preventing any sense of community and collectivity being formed. Miller's warning seems to be that individuals must be willing to take a stand when their government is operated in a manner that is contrary to public

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