Three Characteristics Of Humans In Arthur Miller's The Crucible

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Do you know your closest friends and family? “The Crucible” reveals that you may not know them at all. The Salem witch trials, depicted in “The Crucible” is clear proof of this. During the trials, people were betrayed by those closest to them. Many people accused each other of being witches to ensure their own survival, not caring about those they accused. This led to many people being tried and hanged as witches. Through these events, the witch trials revealed three characteristics of humanity that drove the people in Salem to carry out the trials; reputation, self-preservation, and fear. In “The Crucible,” Arthur Miller reveals the flawed side of humanity through characterization, dramatization, and imagery. The first flawed characteristic …show more content…
Miller portrays this in his play by using dramatization. Throughout the play, many people were driven by the need to survive, while jeopardizing other people’s reputation and safety to ensure their own survival. As a result, several scenes in the play are very dramatic. There is no character that better exemplifies this behavior then Abigail, possibly the most dramatic character in “The Crucible.” This is demonstrated when Abigail is confronted by Parris regarding her and the other girls dancing in the woods. Her need for self-preservation emerges and she immediately blamed Tituba, proclaiming that she was a witch and a devil worshipper (12) and that she conjured spirits (16) in order to avoid being accused of practicing witchcraft. During the entire scene Abigail was sobbing in order to make Paris feel sorry for her, making this scene more dramatic. Abigail also claimed that Tituba asked her to drink blood, which was untrue (43). Abigail was heavily dramatizing the issue to make sure that she was safe, even though nothing she said was true. Another example of survival was when Tituba was accused of being a witch. In order to ensure her survival, Tituba confessed to being a witch and signed the Devil’s book (46). Tituba also falsely proclaimed that both Sarah Good and Goody Osburn were witches (47). Tituba also sobbed in order to make Parris and the others feel sorry for her, as a result, this …show more content…
Miller portrays this in “The Crucible” through imagery. Miller uses imagery to make several situations instill a sense of dread and fear in the characters of the play. During the witch trials, fear spread through Salem like a wildfire and it influenced the actions of many people. One example of this was when Proctor wanted Mary to testify in court in order to save his wife (80). Mary was reluctant because she afraid. Mary repeated over and over again “I cannot, I cannot, I cannot…” (81). Mary was most likely afraid that she would say something in court that would ultimately result in her being accused of being a witch. John forced her to testify and told her to face her fears. This is ironic because at first, John did not want to testify in Salem either (53). Since both John and Mary were afraid to go to Salem, Miller painted an image of Salem as being a place of fear. It should be noted however that, John was afraid to go to Salem for a different reason. John was afraid of what his wife, Elizabeth would think of him after his affair with Abigail. Abigail, unlike John and Mary, used fear to her advantage in “The Crucible.” When Mary was testifying against her and the other girls in court, Abigail created the image of Mary’s spirit and started repeating everything Mary said in order to frighten her (114). This lead to Mary proclaiming that John Proctor was the “devil’s man”’ out of fear (118). This

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