The Crucible Themes, Motifs & Symbols


Lies and Deceit

Most of the character types in The Crucible are relaxing – if not to other persons, then to themselves. Abigail lies about her capability to see people, as do the other girls; Proctor is deceitful first for being unfaithful on his spouse and then for camouflaging it; and the assess and lieutenant governor and ministers lie to themselves and everybody else in saying that they offer the cause of God’s appropriate. The perspective in the tale is that by being truthful (“I am not a witch”), you die, but you also obtain your independence – that is, you keep your location with God, and you become a martyr.



The Crucible set in a theocratic area, in which the religious and the condition are one, and the faith is a demanding, austere type of Protestantism known as Puritanism. Because of the theocratic characteristics of the area, significant laws and regulations and condition laws and regulations are the same: sin and the location of your heart are issues of open worry. There is no place for difference from sociable rules, since any person whose confidential regular life does not comply with the well-known significant laws and regulations signifies an opportunity not only to the open great but also to the procedure of God and actual faith. In Salem, everything and everyone supposed to be to either God or the devil dissent not merely banned, it is associated with satanic task. This dichotomy features as the actual sense behind the wizard tests. As Danforth says in Act III, “a person is either with this court docket or he must be mentioned against it.” The wizard tests are the best appearance of intolerance (and clinging wizards is the best indicates of rejuvenating the community’s purity); the tests company all sociable deviants with the taint of devil-worship and thus require their treatment from the area.


Respect and Reputation

Reputation is very essential in an area where sociable location is associated with their capability to comply with along with spiritual regulations. Your great name is the only way you can get other persons to do enterprise with you or even get a reasonable experiencing. Of course, location recommended nothing when a witchcraft accusation was looking you in the experience. However, it is what designed the Reverend Hale start to uncertainty whether the opponent persons were actually responsible. Reputation had to do with religion: if you were a great and trusted person, you were also a great associate of the religious. Finally yet importantly, it is for the cause of his location and his friends standing that Bob Proctor will not hint an incorrect admission. He would, quite rather die.



Another essential style in The Crucible is the location that hysteria can have fun with in getting apart an area. Hysteria supplants sense and helps persons to believe that their friends, whom they have always regarded as upstanding persons, are spending ridiculous and fantastic crimes—communing with the demon, getting rid of kids, and so on. In The Crucible, the townsfolk take and become effective in the hysterical that you are not only out of actual spiritual piety but also because it gives them an opportunity to show repressed emotions and to act on long-held grudges. The most apparent situation is Abigail, who uses the circumstance to accuse Electronic Proctor of witchcraft and have her sent to offender. However, others blossom on the hysteria as well: Reverend Parris firms his location within the area, as well quickly, by creating scapegoats of people like Proctor whom problem his specialist. The abundant, serious Johnson Putnam results vengeance on Francis Doctor by getting Rebecca, Francis’s virtuous spouse, found responsible of the great killings of Ann Putnam’s kids. In the end, hysteria can blossom only because persons advantage from it. It suspends the regulations of lifestyle and allows the performing out of every dark-colored drive and hateful craving under include of righteousness.


The Supernatural

Salem townsfolk, they see information of God and information of the Devil everywhere. Yet nobody actually encounters people — though the women assert they do. They have fun with creates it distinct that they are performing. Their pretense may be a collection mental sensation, but on the earth as people knows it, if there is a Devil, he is not in Salem: there are only persons – some great, some deceived, some money, some envious, some vengeful, some nasty.





The wizard tests encourage several character types in the have fun with who are in the past marginalized in Salem area. In common, women enjoy the smallest step of male-dominated Salem and have few choices in regular life. They operate as servants for townsmen until they are old enough to wed off and have kids of their own. Moreover, to being thus limited, Abigail is also servant to Bob Proctor’s erectile whims—he pieces away her purity when he commits infidelity with her, and he arouses her spiteful envy when he terminates their matter. Because the Puritans’ best worry is the defiance of God, Abigail’s suggestions of witchcraft and devil-worship quickly control the interest of the court docket. By aiming herself, in the little brown eyes of others, with God’s will, she results energy over area, as do the other ladies in her collection, and her expression becomes essentially unassailable, as do theirs. Tituba, whose location is cheaper than that of anyone else in the have fun with by advantage of the truth that she is dark-colored, is able to also to deflect responsibility from her by blaming others.


Accusations, Confessions, and Legal Proceedings

The wizard tests are middle to the actions of The Crucible, and stunning suggestions and confessions complete the have fun with even beyond the constraints of the court docket. In the first act, even before the hysteria takes place, we see Parris accuse Abigail of dishonoring him, and he then creates a line of suggestions against his parishioners. Giles Corey and Proctor answer in variety, and Putnam soon connects in, developing a refrain of indictments even before Hale comes. The full wizard test program grows on suggestions, the only way that wizards revealed, and confessions, which offer the facts of the appropriate of the court docket actions. Proctor efforts to crack this period with an admission of his own, when he says to the matter with Abigail, but this admission trumped by the accusation of witchcraft against him, which will requirements an admission. Proctor’s brave choice, at the shut of the have fun with, to die rather than acknowledge to a sin that he did not make, lastly fails the period. The court docket fails quickly subsequently, unfastened by the rejection of its persons to grow lies.




The Witch Trials and McCarthyism

There is little importance within The Crucible, but, in its whole, they have fun with can seen as synonymous with the worry about communism that pervaded United States in the 50’s. Several commonalities are available between the Home Un-American Pursuits Committee’s rooting out of thought communists during this some time to the seventeenth-century witch-hunt that Burns signifies in The Crucible, such as the narrow-mindedness, increased energy, and disregard for the persons that define the government’s efforts to press out a recognized sociable ill. Further, as with the believed wizards of Salem, thought Communists were motivated to acknowledge their violations and to “name brands,” determining others considerate to their major cause. Some have belittled Burns for oversimplifying issues, in that while there were (as far as we know) no actual wizards in Salem, there were certainly Communists in 50’s United States. However, one can dispute that Miller’s worry in The Crucible is not with whether the opponent actually are wizards, but rather with the disinclination of the court docket authorities to believe that they are not. In lighting of McCarthyist extravagances, which harmed many innocents, this similar thought powerfully in Miller’s own time.

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