The Crucible - fear and suspicion Essay
1944 Words8 Pages
In the Crucible, Arthur Miller shows us how fear and suspicion can destroy a community.
As the play develops, Miller shows us how fear and suspicion increase and destroy the community. Throughout the play it becomes apparent that the community gets more and more divided as time goes on. In the beginning there were arguments about ownership of land between some of the villagers. As the story progresses people fear for their own safety and begin accusing their neighbours of witchcraft in order to escape being hanged.
Salem became overrun by the hysteria of witchcraft. Mere suspicion itself was accepted as evidence. As a Satan-fearing community, they could not think of denying the evidence, because to deny the existence
of…show more content…
Whilst living in a repressive society one can become paranoid, permanently on guard, living an anxious life. Though things soon get too intense and adolescent girls have no outlet for natural feelings, so they take to dancing in the woods - an innocent enough pastime. In a society that are forever on the lookout for any signs of the devil, dancing can lead many to assume the worst - that they had 'trafficked with spirits in the forest.' And that there were 'unnatural causes.'
This may not necessarily be true as when Parris first confronts
Abigail she denies it and says 'It were sport uncle!' She is trying to save herself from punishment.
The fear of devils and witches lead to the problem in Act 1 which never get resolved, just keep getting worse and worse. The major problem then led to other fears - fear of punishment, fear of gossip and a tarnished reputation.
Hysteria ensues as the townspeople of Salem consider there may be witchcraft in their midst, and begin to recall friends and neighbours' past actions that have been suspicious. This becomes clear when
Proctor says 'I'll tell you what's walking Salem now--vengeance is walking Salem. We are what we always were in Salem, but now the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law!'
People took advantage of the situation and used it to the best of their abilities. Conniving and scheming to gain more land for their crops although
Show MoreThe play “The Crucible” is an allegory for the McCarthyism hysteria that occurred in the late 1940’s to the late 1950’s. Arthur Miller’s play “the crucible” and the McCarthyism era demonstrates how fear can begin conflict. The term McCarthyism has come to mean “the practice of making accusations of disloyalty”, which is the basis of the Salem witch trials presented in Arthur Miller’s play. The fear that the trials generate leads to the internal and external conflicts that some of the characters are faced with, in the play. The town’s people fear the consequences of admitting their displeasure of the trials and the character of John Proctor faces the same external conflict, but also his own internal conflict. The trials begin due to Abigail…show more content…
The other girls join in and begin to blame other women in the town whom they dislike.
The townsfolk of Salem fuelled the conflict through their own fear. The society of Salem feared being called witches if they expressed their disagreement with the trials. This is similar to the McCarthyism hysteria were everyone feared being blacklisted and losing their livelihoods by being accused of having associations with communists or being a communist. As people began being accused of witchcraft because of old grudges or for acquisition of land (what Putnam was accused by Giles of doing), the towns people were afraid and very wary of each other. The only character to share their views was John Procter who was trying to free his wife. Procter and Rebecca Nurse among others, refused to admit their guilt, by confessing to witchcraft and therefore were hung as a result of this, as they did not want to lie by admitting and as John proctor put it “…pulling down heaven and raising up a whore”. This fear generated among the towns people lead to the conflict that many characters faced when coming up against society’s belief at the time that the devil was present in Salem.
The character of John Proctor’s internal conflict stems from his fear of ruining his good name. Initially Procter struggles with telling the truth, which he was told by Abigail, which is that, the girls, were only dancing and there was no witchcraft involved. There is also his guilt of his affair with Abigail