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The Crucible (Review)

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The Crucible (Review)
The Crucible was a play which was written by Arthur Miller. The play was written around the
year 1953. The play tries to enact the incidents that were best referred to as the witch trials of
Salem. The story unfolds from a scene where a number of girls are found dancing in a forest in
Salem area by Reverend Parris. The reverends daughter goes into a coma after the forest
incident. The incident arouses the curiosity of the reverend and he decides to dig for more
information. He is astonished to find that there was more to the dancing in the forest. Some
characters in the play blame witchcraft for the condition of the reverends daughter. Tituba is later called and interrogated so as to shed more light concerning what happened the day they were in the forest. She surprises many when she admits that the actions they took part in that day had demonic significance. Tituba also states that there were also other members of Salems
society who have ever taken part in the said rituals. This seemed to mark the beginning of the
witch trials in the area. (Bloom)
There were numerous debates that centered on the matter; some people favored the claims that
bewitching was the cause of Parris` daughter being in ill condition while others thought
otherwise. The debate soon degenerates into a free for all affair and it was in a matter of time
before the bewitching theory caught on in the neighboring towns. Trial after trial was being

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presented in front of respectable judges within the locality; many of them bordering on the issue
of people being bewitched. The trials became cumbersome and numerous by the day.
John Proctor
John is a local farmer and the husband to Elizabeth Proctor. John is a very strict gentleman who
detests hypocrisy in all its manifestations. John is however without blemish; it was later realized
that he had had an affair with a lady called Abigail. The affair later proved to be Johns major undoing. He exposes Abigail within blinking an eye when the hysteria of sorcery and wizardry ensured in the area. He did so in earnest so as to cover his sins which would have been found out anyway. The other reason that lead him into exposing Abigail was to help save his face within the society. The writer depicts Mr. Proctor as a hero. The play is molded into what may have been referred to as a classical tragedy. The author portrayed him as a desirable man who was honest and upright. The author later tries to show the audience that John is not what he seems; never judge a book by its cover. What may have led John into misbehaving was his great lust for this lady called Abigail. Abigail also detested Johns wife and when the bewitching issue came to the fore she
longed for a way to pin her into it. The story catches more momentum when John after much
consideration realizes that there is a way he can stop Abigails obsession from gaining traction. John later says ‘A man may think God sleeps, but God sees everything’ this was in reference to his adultery. (Bloom ) John assumes that if he confesses to the ill of having committed adultery with Abigail then all will be over. The author tries to paint out the implication that the confession would have on Johns character; nothing but utter shame. The vice would set John up for humiliation. John tried

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to push through his word on Abigail as evil through Mary Warrens trial testimony; but this hits a snag. He burst out publicly and said Abigail was a ‘whore’ for all to hear. Johns idea of
redeeming himself lands him in hot soup. He was later arrested and was informed that he was
suspected of being a witch. What he thought would sink Abigail was now bringing him down; he
was too late. Proctor tries to think of a smart way of redeeming himself; he decides to refute the
claims that he was involved in sorcery. He is offered reprieve from death if he does confess to
being one. He soon changed his mind and decided to admit his involvement in the bewitching
matter. John went even to greater extent of signing written confession. John who being religious
felt that he would rather die for telling the truth; he later changed his mind again and choose to
stick with the truth. Proctor feared public opinion about his conduct that he decided not to reveal
his adulterous nature in court. Proctor perceived that telling the truth in court would be honoring
prisoners who often died for the truth. John would also be in a fix if he lied in court; lying would
also have brought him into disrepute especially with the society. He is of the conviction that the
truth would enable him to get to heaven hence by sticking to it he saves his integrity and his
eternal life. John utters the following at the end of the play ‘How may I live without my name? I
have given you my soul; leave me my name’ He hanged on to saving his name and integrity to
the end. (Bloom)
John`s characterization is depicted by the author as being a person torn between a world of
falsehood and that of truth. John is sent to the gallows; he feels pleased with his decision of
telling the truth.

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Works Cited
Bloom, Harold. The Crucible – Arthur Miller, New Edition. New York: Infobase Pub, 2008.
Internet resource.

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