In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, the main theme is intolerance. The main characters are John Proctor, Abigail, and Reverend Parris. Reverend Parris finds his daughter, Betty, and his niece, Abigail, dancing, naked in the woods, seemingly committing witchcraft. Witchcraft is outside the religion and unacceptable within the society. These instances of intolerance, are portrayed through allusion, writing style, and symbolism.
The theme of intolerance is first demonstrated through allusion, referring to McCarthyism. The plot is developed through a multitude of accusations, as everyone wants to put the blame off on someone else. Parris feels the need to blame the girls, while the girls want to blames random people, while they then allegedly blame themselves, then all the blame is put on John Proctor. This instance in the play alludes the way communist were treated during the 1940s-1950s, being blamed and accused of all things and untolerated. This allusion to the Red Scare is paralleled in the lines,
“MARY WARREN: What'll we do? The village is out! I just come from the farm; the whole country's talkin' witchcraft! They'll be callin' us witches, Abby! Abby, we've got to tell.
MERCY: She means to tell, I know it.
MARY WARREN: Abby, we’ve got to tell. Witchery's a hangin' error, a hangin' like they done in Boston two year ago! We must tell the truth, Abby! You'll only be whipped for dancin', and the other things!” (Miller, 1953, Act 1.).
This dialogue between Mary and Mercy show the extent of intolerance, as part of the theocracy. The girls realize the unity of church and state and its power. The church holds justice and alludes to the communist ideals of church and state together, as well as the justices the US tried to ensue over accused communists during the McCarthy period. We find further explanation of this from (RealStudyGuides, 2014.) in the form of, “Joseph McCarthy, U.S. Senator, made unsubstantiated claims that more than 200 "card carrying" members of...