The Role Of Fear In The Crucible

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Within society, emotions play a prominent role in the lives of all individuals. Psychologically its impact can have drastic effects on the mind as it manipulates people’s actions. In an effort to express this idea, during the 1950’s, Arthur Miller wrote a play called The Crucible which depicts the lives of a group of Puritans during the Salem witch trials. Society during this time was ruled by an ambience of panic and fear due to a wave of accusations. However these accusations were not only fueled by fear and emotion but rather they were combined with the presence of ignorance. Society within The Crucible reflects that in an atmosphere of mass hysteria, the presence of fear will motivate individuals to draw false conclusions in an effort to…show more content…
From the very beginning of the play, Miller displays the lack of knowledge that is possessed within society during the 17th century. Mr. and Mrs. Putnam are at the edge of despair as their only surviving child Ruth has fallen into a strange trance. No one is sure what has caused the situation, however emotions begin to take over their judgment as they believe she has been witched. In this atmosphere of chaos, Ann Putnam shifts the focus towards Rebecca Nurse as she infers “ I have laid seven babies unbaptized in the earth, and yet each would wither in my arms the very night of their birth,” (Miller 1242). At this stage, it is evident their community lacks the technological advancements to understand the medical issues behind stillbirths. Theology has become the Putnams only option in order to comprehend their situation. In effect, when their ignorance is combined with fear and chaos, it leads to the false justification for Ruth's illness as well as the death of Ann Putnam’s children. Furthermore, this reflects Miller’s idea that fear will drive individuals into a state of confusion and obstruct their judgment of the…show more content…
Throughout the entire play, Abigail has shown her ability to twist and contort the truth. The only character who is able to see past her lies is John Proctor. In court, Proctor attempts to have Mary Warren testify against Abigail. However, Abigail is able to turn the attention away from herself as she cries “ You will not! Begone! Begone, I say! Why do you come, yellow bird?” (Miller 1311). By suddenly shifting the entire focus of the trial, Abigail is able spark terror within the court. This terror creates confusion and disorientation, in effect this allows her to manipulate the other girls and force everyone in the court to believe what she desires. Essentially, Abigail’s character expresses Miller’s notion: that emotions have an immense impact on a person and their ability to fully comprehend a situation. When emotions take over, they are unable to distinguish fact from fiction and as a result it leads to misjudgment and causes them to conform to a specific

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