The Crucible “The Plot”
The overall message of Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible, is that when unrestrained hysteria is combined with ignorance, the outcome is tragic. While Miller provides his audience some comic dialogue to soften the events it does not mask the scary reality of the witch hunt and its aftermath. Rather, the humorous insights serve to expose the simplicity and innocence of people living rustic lives in a God-fearing neighborhood. A number of characters, Paris and Hale, Mary Warren and John Proctor, offer the audience with some comic discussion, and Giles Corey is the most amusing character of them all.
The hysteria which was plentiful in Salem permitted little, irrelevant, even comic, events to form the basis of sinister fabrications. Farmers who were envious of the location of land owned by others, or who longed for a treatment for envisioned wrongs, took the opportunity to bear incorrect witness. Seemingly comic scenarios, such as Mary Warren reporting to the Court that when she did not provide the beggar lady, Goody Osborn, bread and a cup of cider, she ‘mumbled’, had terrible outcomes. Martha Corey was arrested since a pig she offered to a farmer had passed away a short time after he took shipment of it.
At the time Martha had said to him, “Walcott if you have not the wit to feed a pig effectively, you’ll not live to own numerous.” Although that was 4 or 5 years earlier, the farmer informed the Court that Martha had actually bewitched all subsequent pigs and triggered them to die also. Giles Corey innocently asks the Reverend Hale why he might not say his prayers when his other half was in the space reading books. Later, after Martha Corey was jailed, he attempted to clarify his point: “I never ever stated my partner were a witch, Mr Hale, I just said she were reading books. When Reverend Paris implied that he must be paid more than sixty pounds a year (with 6 dollars extra for firewood), since he was a” graduate of Harvard College”, Giles quickly responds “Aye, and well advised in math.” Lots of lies are told, and believed; but the paradox is, naturally, that neither the telling of realities nor the rejection to betray a self-confidence, protects the innocent in the overtly Christian community of Salem. John Proctor confesses to the Court that he has actually ‘known’ Abigail Williams because he wishes to secure his partner, Elizabeth, from hanging.
Nevertheless, when she fails to say that John is an adulterer, the Court neglects his ‘reality,’ Abigail Williams remains complimentary to advance with her cruel lies, and he is nabbed. Giles Corey not just has wit and humour, he is also devoted. He dies a sluggish, horrible death due to the fact that he fails to reveal the source of his understanding that “The day Putnam’s child sobbed out on Jacobs, (Putnam) stated she ‘d provided him a fair gift of land.” He does not offer the name because he states “He’ll lay in jail if I give his name.” There is, among the characters of the play, a basic sincerity and a moral way of being which causes disaster.
While readers will make fun of Mary Warren informing her employer, John Proctor, that she will go to bed when she wants as she is ‘eighteen and a female, however single’, and note with the amusement the pompous certainty of the Reverend Hale when we initially meet him laden with books, “Here is the unnoticeable world caught, specified, and calculated.” They will likewise discover the ignorance and cunning pretence of some characters deeply troubling and horrifyingly awful. While Miller might have wished to reduce our sorrow at the hysterical, lethal lies told by the kids of Salem with some comic moments, the tragic occasions of the play overrule them all.