Fear In The Crucible

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The Salem Witch Trials in the 1690’s brought sweeping fear across the state of Massachusetts. The fear that satan could be lurking around every corner plagued many, but there was no greater fear than that of being accused of witchcraft. The crime of witchcraft was so horrendous that it was punishable by death. This constant scare caused many to turn on one another, in the hopes of saving themselves. Arthur Miller 's play, The Crucible highlights this deceitful society, and portrayed how many characters responded to fear. The title, The Crucible, is very fitting for this play because the word Crucible means a severe test or trial, or a vessel that can withstand intense heat and is used for melting substances. While characters such as Elizabeth …show more content…
In the opening scene, when Mary gets word she might have been caught for her dancing in the woods, she immediately tries to cover it up saying, “I never done any of it, Abby. I only looked!” Her immediate reaction is to distance herself from the actions of the other girls. She is trying to elude to the idea that the sin of her observation is minor in comparison to the execution of witchcraft. Also, in the scene her fear is prevalent when she says “Abby, we’ve got to tell. Witchery’s a hangin’ error, a hangin’ like they done in Boston two years ago! We must tell the truth, Abby!” The act of her repeating the word hangin’ emphasizes how much she actually fears the consequences of her actions. In addition, she also pleads with Abby to tell because “You’ll only be whipped for dancin’”. She uses the word you’ll because she is trying to take herself out of the situation, but Abby is very quick to respond with “we’ll be whipped”. Not only does Mary’s inability to take responsibility of her own actions personify why she is not a crucible, but also that she would rather save herself than tell the …show more content…
Unfortunately for Mary, that 's not the case, as she often lets fear get the best of her and throws her virtues, and the truth, out the window. When John’s wife is accused of witchcraft, he desperately tries to get Mary to help him, but Mary could care less about John’s wife’s safety and instead is only thinking of preserving her own. She tells him “I cannot, they 'll turn on me--, I cannot do it, I cannot!” In addition when addressed about the poppet she gave Elizabeth, the poppet that is sending Elizabeth to jail, she timidly answers “What poppet’s that sir” because she is unsure how answering the question could affect her in the long run. Following this, in the court, once she realizes she 's on the losing side of the battle, she turns on John Proctor and accuses him of being “the devil’s man.” She also promises Abby “I’ll never hurt you more” and runs right to the person that is the cause of this debacle. She does this because that is where, she is going to be the most safe. Mary’s faults are so prevalent that even other characters in the play start to take

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