The Crucible

    Belonging in The Crucible # The Puritans¹ had formed a theocratic monolithic state (religious leaders) of like minded citizens for protection, security and unity. In order to belong, members had to sacrifice their individuality and conform to rigid moral, religious and social codes. To keep it in place they used repressive laws and sanctions such as whipping, hanging and excommunication for those who transgressed or broke rigid rules. ¹Mencken’s famous definition of puritanism is “the haunting fear that someone somewhere is enjoying themselves”.

    Integrity - a sense of wholeness - Integrity: A Universal Principle # Integrity is connected to people who have a sense about themselves, or as the Greek dramatists depicted it, they had experienced self discovery and *“Know who they are”. * Sophocles – Oedipus Rex Integrity is associated with self-respect, honour, scruples, ethics and high principles in morality. Above all it requires that an individual be true to themselves. Integrity: A Universal Principle

    Ironies in The Crucible # The Pilgrims escaped Europe because of religious persecution only to set up a repressive, intolerant, insular and theocratic society that thrives on persecution. The hunt was originally a hunt for the devil — yet the devil was in the hunt itself. The greatest crimes are those committed by the hunter (the authorities) not the hunted. The only real evidence of witchcraft is in the camp of Parris, yet his opponents become the scapegoats.

    The Language of the Crucible # Arthur Miller used the actual language of the 17 C. to make the play ostensibly authentic. Though his intent may be to expose the damage done by hysterical and misguided authority figures to hapless victims during the McCarthy era of America in the 1950’s, he sets his scene in the time of the witch hunts of the 1690’s to gain perspective and remoteness; abuse of power is a perennial issue, not the exclusive preserve of any one time or place.

    THE CRUCIBLE - BY ARTHUR MILLER # “We burn a hot fire here; it melts down all concealment” Deputy-Governor Danforth, Act Three, THE CRUCIBLE Arthur Miller denies that tragedy is necessarily tied to pessimism, rather implies more optimism as it reinforces the onlooker’s brightest opinions of the human condition. The tragic hero claims his whole due as a personality, and if this struggle must be total and without reservation, then it automatically demonstrates the indestructible will of man to achieve his humanity.

    Witchcraft # People have practised witchcraft as early as Egyptian and Roman times. In the book of laws he compiled toward the end of the ninth century, King Alfred outlawed wiccan among the people of England, on pain of death. From its first appearance in English, the word “witch” has referred to a person not merely magical but actively abhorred by state power. (JOSEPHINE LIVINGSTONE) Early Christians persecuted many innocent people who rejected their beliefs for sorcery; as wizards, warlocks or witches.