In 1692, Salem was populated by Puritans who thought in black-and-white lines between good and evil. The powers of darkness were real forces to them, which might create chaos and damage on society if released. The system of government was that God was the true leader of society, and he expressed his will through the actions of males and females. In the Old Testimony, we hear stories of how God led directly through Moses; Salem, also, was led through guys who were supposed to be directly connected to God.
In theory, if you think in a loving God, this should work; but in practice, males lust after power despite their concepts.
This implied that God’s power was mediated through men, and guys made the rules. Amongst those rules were stringent guidelines for what it meant to be a Christian, and what it suggested to follow God. Miller explains the forest as the last bastion of evil according to Puritan understanding, so the forest where Abigail and the women danced was seen as ruled by the Devil– while the town of Salem was ruled by God.
The entire play has to do with the ethical contradictions going on in Salem at this time, and how its stringent spiritual faith ended up being twisted and caused the death of innocent individuals. Nowhere in this play exists of a mention of the word “crucible.
What the heck is a crucible anyhow? Well, it’s a piece of lab devices used to heat chemical compounds to extremely high temperatures or to melt metal. It’s a little container loaded with violent responses. Seems like a respectable metaphor for the violent hysteria that the little town of Salem included throughout the witch trials. Yes, Salem ended up being a “crucible” for lots of people living there when they were brought prior to the religious court and implicated incorrectly of being witches. If an accused individual did not confess, she was hanged. If she did admit, she was spared death but significant for life as a person who worshipped the Devil.
Under such conditions, numerous characters in this play, particularly the central characters, John and Elizabeth Proctor, are forced to face their own internal demons, a process that eventually causes internal, spiritual transformation. The play opens in Betty Parris’s bedroom. Her dad, the Reverend Parris, is questioning what is incorrect with her. He soon learns that all over town, there are reports that she’s been bewitched. He does not want to believe it, but the night previously, he did capture his niece Abigail, his daughter Betty, and some other town ladies dancing in the forest.
That’s bad enough, however he thinks he might have seen a gown on the ground, which means naked dancing, and he knows he saw a cauldron. But for now, he’s not pointing out these things to anyone as he determines what to do. He’s stressed that if there is witchcraft in his house, his career and personal wealth will be ruined. Before Tituba is given Betty’s space to be questioned, Abigail threatens the other women not to breathe a word of the truth, other than what she has actually currently exposed, and we find out that Abigail is a treacherous individual.
She tells Proctor that Betty is not actually ill; she simply got terrified when her father found them the night before. Abigail lets Proctor in on the trick, then confronts him and asks him to reveal his love for her. He rejects her, and states she ought to forget him. However we realize that Proctor remains in for a rough ride, given Abigail’s deceptive actions up until now. When Hale confronts Abigail about the witchcraft, she blames Tituba. Faced with the power of the minister and the risk of death if she doesn’t confess, Tituba confesses whatever and likewise claims she’s seen other ladies in town with the Devil.
Then the girls start to claim that they, too, saw these females with the Devil. As the witch hysteria moves through the town, a growing number of women are apprehended as witches. Their trials are swift and rapid and nearly all are convicted. If they admit, nevertheless, they are launched. Soon, nevertheless, the girls stop blaming the town’s less trusted citizens and begin accusing the spiritual and reputable Rebecca Nurse and Martha Corey. Elizabeth alerts her spouse to put a stop to it by informing the court what he heard Abigail state. But she’s too late.
When Abigail sees her opportunity to implicate Elizabeth, she takes it. After observing Mary Warren make a doll (poppet) and stick a needle in it during one of the trials, she later claims that somebody stuck a needle in her. She states it is Elizabeth Proctor’s spirit that has actually done it, and evidence will be discovered in the poppet in her house. Undoubtedly, the poppet is found and Elizabeth is arrested. John Proctor tries to get his spouse released from jail by appealing to the court. His confessions of adultery with Abigail, and the stopped working testament of Mary Warren, bring things to the boiling point.
Proctor brings Mary Warren to court, where she admits that she was lying and never ever saw spirits. Sadly, she can’t reproduce her phony hysteria without the other girls doing it, too. Abigail and the other women start to pretend that Mary Warren herself is bewitching them, even as they all stand there. All seems lost till Proctor admits that Abigail is a whore, that he dedicated adultery with her. Abigail denies it, but Danforth calls Elizabeth Proctor out to ask her if her spouse is a lecher. Proctor has ensured Danforth that his spouse never lies, but in this case, she does, in order to safeguard his name.
Danforth sends her away. Mary Warren takes the opportunity to redeem herself and rejoin her social group by all of a sudden accusing Proctor of making her indication her name in Satan’s book. She joins the girls once again, admitting that she is now with God again. John Proctor is arrested as a witch. Elizabeth and John talk about whether he needs to confess– and thus save his life– on the day he is arranged to hang in the gallows. Prior to his death, the ministers and officials of the court permit Elizabeth Proctor to talk to her hubby. They hope she can convince him to confess, to conserve himself from death.
Instead, Elizabeth lets him know that she forgives him for his indiscretions with Abigail, which she shares in the blame. She feels he is taking her sin upon himself. Proctor chooses he wants to live and accepts confess. Reverend Parris applauds God. When Proctor recognizes that in order to confess, he not only has to sign his name to a composed file, however he needs to also denounce his buddies as witches, he can’t do it. It is one thing to lie about himself, however it is another thing to destroy his pals’ credibilities. Rather of a false confession, he decides to go to the gallows.
When Proctor decides to tear up the confession, he conserves his soul. Up until that minute, he has chosen to confess in part to save his life however in part due to the fact that he doesn’t feel like he deserves to pass away in this way, as a martyr and a saint. However when he picks death, he recognizes his basic goodness as a male. The Crucible ends with John Proctor marching off to a martyr’s death. By declining to lie and confess to witchcraft, he compromises his life in the name of truth. At the end of the play, Proctor has in some way restored his goodness.