The Crucible By Arthur Miller: Evidence From The Play (Essay Sample)
1. Use evidence from the play to show how Arthur Miller conveys the theme that fear and suspicion are infectious and can produce a mass hysteria that destroys public order and rationality.
2. Cite evidence from the play that supports the theme that it is nobler to die with integrity than to live with compromised principles that harm others.
3. (a) In what ways do Hale’s reactions to events compare to those of the other ministers and court officers? (b) What do these differences suggest the ideas of integrity, pride, and vanity?
The Crucible by Arthur Miller was written in 1952 based on a story about the famous Salem witch trials of 1629. Miller basic theme reveals how fear and suspicion is infectious and can produce a state of general hysteria that results in the destruction of public order and rationality. Miller validates how individual conceptions of good and evil can be corrupted; some of his characters display integrity, pride, and dignity, to prove why it's more noble to die with integrity than live with compromised principles that harm others.
In Salem, witchcraft was forbidden; anyone suspected to be practicing witchcraft was hanged to death. Based on suspicion alone, anyone would be convicted to death. To avoid facing death, suspected individuals falsely accused other people to save themselves (Miller 41). The theme of the play is supported when Abigail transfers her suspicion of witchcraft to Tituba. Tituba, when threatened, begin to name other people out of fear. Naming innocent people caused public disorder, especially when the girl's words are used to arrest the suspects (Miller 55).
For example, John was arrested because the court officers believed the girl's claims; the court officers ignored evidence basing their ruling on vague evidence which is not rational. The theme is also supported when the girls accuse Mary Warren after testifying against them. Fear and suspicion become infectious when the g
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