Sexual Repression In The Crucible

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In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, interpersonal conflict and private turmoil give rise to the Salem Witch Hunts. Among the private agonies that Miller’s characters face is the inability to express their sexuality. Sexual repression is defined as a state in which a person is prevented from expressing their own sexuality. Sexual repression is often associated with feelings of guilt or shame being associated with sexual impulses. Sexual repression plays a negative role on the characters throughout the play’s development and action by generating communal controversies, creating victims of innocent populations, and establishing greater infidelity and sexual strain. The actions of Abigail WIlliams derives from sexual repression. Abigail WIlliams …show more content…
Her affair with John Proctor was caused by sexual repression. The feeling of shame Abigail has for herself after her parents have died, she has chosen to make up for with a sexual relationship with a man much older than herself. This act of adultery has negatively affected the town’s people. The town of Salem is now in controversy while discussing the matter of the affair and whether or not, the Devil was an influence. The act of adultery has as well made a victim out of Elizabeth Proctor in the sense that Abigail seeks out Elizabeth’s death, so that she may keep John for herself. Overall, Abigail Williams has created a sexual strain between her and John Proctor and greater infidelity among the entire town of Salem by allowing sexual repression to affect her actions. During a conversation between Abigail and Reverend Parris, Abigail exclaims, “I look for the John Proctor who took me from my sleep and put knowledge in my …show more content…
Elizabeth has been portrayed in the play as a woman who is only a victim of her husband’s adultery. Although this is correct, Elizabeth feels that she may not have relations with her husband now that he has cheated on her. Throughout Elizabeth’s life, she has tried to be a good, Puritan woman. By John cheating on her, she has not been a valuable enough wife. Previously shown, sexual repression has caused characters to seek satisfaction in others’ sexual attention, but in Elizabeth’s case we see her sexual repression has caused her to draw away from her husband, thinking that she is not good enough for him. This act of not being a just wife during this time is committing a sin. During the play, Elizabeth declares, “It were a cold house I kept” (Miller 137). The cold house represents the tension that is created in the Proctor household. Elizabeth’s sexual repression has predominantly constructed sexual strain between John and herself as well as establishing a victim out of herself as a result of pulling herself away from her husband. Elizabeth has been brought to court and created more controversy within the court by means of explaining to the court what her husband has done. The court now has to take into consideration Elizabeth’s guiltiness in the process of punishing John for his actions. Sexual repression significantly affects the characters in The Crucible by Arthur Miller.

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