Understanding: The Crucible
The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, is a historical play based on the Salem Witchcraft Trials of the late 1600’s. The play captures a very accurate demonstration of Puritan beliefs and life in the mid to late 1600’s. Within the play, you are given many clues to the elements of the time period, the tone and mood of the story and also the author’s choice of organization. The Crucible gives us a greater perspective on how close-minded and ignorant the people of this time were. It shows us just how cold-hearted, selfish yet hysterical these people could be.
Arthur Miller framed the characters to contain great deals of prejudices. People were shaped with stubborn minds, especially the officials and people of higher power (ministers, judges, court officials, etc.). With this being said, most people were only allowed to think, and act in very specific boundaries. The article, The Puritans And Freedom Of Religion tells us that Puritans believed that only their way of living, could truly get them to eternal life in Heaven with God. For example, Hathorne, an official of the court, ran a very unjust court system, which ultimately was based on biased perceptions instead of fair order, and proven evidence. The Puritans, as demonstrated in the play, exemplified multitudes of hypocrisy. They assured everyone that their work was to make sure that the village was only filled with God; however one might say their actions were against the principles of God. One might also say that they could easily be considered as murderers and criminals, which obviously do not fit under the order of what God wants. Arthur Miller did an excellent job of exposing these people for who they really were, and for projecting the Salem Witch Trials as the ludicrous controversy that it indeed was.
There are many indicators within the story that allow us to identify the time period. Probably the most obvious in this case is the recreation of the Salem Witch Trials. We know this...