Theme Of Irony In The Crucible

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The town of Salem was a tightly knit and watchful group of puritan citizens. Puritans came over and inhabited the state of Massachusetts and the city of Salem, to escape from religious persecution in England. Irony makes its way into Salem when witchcraft becomes punishable by death. The Crucible by Arthur Miller depicts salem during the peak of the witch hunts and trials. The town of Salem, in the beginning is shown as a town that is almost ready to turn on eachother. Everyone knows everything about everyone else and their social status is almost as important to them as their relationship with God. As many could have seen coming, in Act II, fear starts to take control of the town. The whispers of witchcraft start to circulate the town; the …show more content…
. .” (48). The people of salem really feel like witchcraft is going to take over when they find out this. This is mostly because Abigail was in fact the niece of a highly renowned reverend in the town and to them, it seemed impossible that not only a child, but a child related to a minister, could be a witch. This to them meant, if she could be, couldn’t anyone be? Thoughts raced through the minds of the citizens. They began to question everything they know about the people and the town they know. Another thing that scared the people of Salem was the fact that Abigail named multiple other people, accusing them of witchcraft. This made other people believe that it was almost like a disease and was contagious. Many people in salem started accusing people who maybe even just acted differently or having an alternative opinion on a subject. When John Proctor says he does not see the light of God in Reverend Parris, he is immediately questioned about his religious beliefs. He is asked by Reverend Hale if he knows the ten commandments by heart. When he was asked, he started to list them but forgot one, “Thou shalt not commit adultery”. Proctor was told of his mistake and Reverend Hale responded only with “Theology, sir, is a fortress; no crack in a fortress may be accounted small.” (66) which basically told the Proctors that Hale was suspicious …show more content…
Children are wandering the streets because their parents have all been accused of witchcraft. The children are symbolized when Cheever says “There be so many cows wanderin’ the highroads, now their masters are in the jail. . .” (125). How are these “cows” supposed to know what to do? All they know is that their “owners” have been sent to jail and now they are on their own. The people of Salem probably did not think of that when they started accusing everybody they thought acted differently, of witchcraft. People in Salem have lost their minds thinking of what could happen to them. Every time the girls in the play accuse someone of being a witch in court, hysteria played a role. One girl would pretend to get cold, or see a spirit, or to be attacked by a spirit, and would cry out in fear and pain; the other girls, seeing her do that, caught the emotion like a contagious disease, and would imagine they felt or saw the same things, or at least would react to the fear in the room. Mary Warren herself, in speaking to the judges, explained how it all happened: I--I heard the other girls screaming, and you, Your Honor, you seemed to believe them, and I--It were only sport in the beginning sir, but then the whole world cried spirits, spirits, and I--I promise you, Mr. Danforth, I only thought I saw them but I did not." (107). Hysteria is in fact like a disease. It latched itself on to the town, and had a death grip that wouldn 't

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