Symbols In The Crucible

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Violence, betrayal, scrutiny, and mayhem. These four words describe the crucial events of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 that are portrayed in Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible. What once started out as a pure and faithful town of Massachusetts soon turned into a town full of liars and scapegoats. With the town being dominated through the influence of Abigail Williams and her friends, the townsfolk could only pray that they would not be the next one accused of witchcraft. Even though Reverend Hale tries his best to keep the peace, countless accusations are made against people that only lead to courtroom trials and, the worst-case scenario, death. Towards the end of the novel, one of the more prominent symbols are the wandering cows and neglected …show more content…
It represents how careless they have become since they are not looking after any of their property in fear that they might be accused of witchcraft for doing the simplest of things. Even the people who respect the Lord’s teachings are breaking down. Hathorne tells Danforth that Reverend Parris, “ ‘... has a mad look these days’” (Miller 124). and Ezekiel Cheever points out that, “ ‘... Mr. Parris be arguin’ with farmers all yesterday- there is great contention, sir, about the cows. Contention make him weep... ’” (Miller 125). The cows are able to project their emotions onto the characters. Both the wandering cows and townsfolk are confused and don’t know what to do in these drastic circumstances. Reverend Parris begins to feel exhausted and fearful about the town, even though he should be trying his best to guide everyone to the Lord’s teachings. Another instance is when Reverend Hale states, “ ‘ … the stink of rotting crops hangs everywhere, and no man knows when the harlots’ cry will end his life- and you wonder yet if rebellion’s spoke/ Better you should marvel how they do not burn your province!” (Miller 130). the dying crops also reflect on how the people of Salem feel. They feel tired and are done putting up with innocent people being thrown in jail. they want a new way on how their town should be run, and the only way to do that is to revolt against the old system of theocracy. By projecting the conditions of the cows and crops onto the characters are in the play shows how uneasy and disoriented Salem

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