The Crucible Characters Essay Research Paper The

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The Crucible: Fictional characters Essay, Research Paper

The Crucible: Fictional characters

Chetan Patel

The Crucible, a drama by Arthur Miller that was foremost produced in 1953,

is based on the true narrative of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Miller wrote the

drama to parallel the state of affairss in the mid-twentieth century of Alger Hiss,

Owen Latimore, Julius and Ethel Rosenburg, and Senator McCarthy, if merely

suggestively. ( Warshow 116 ) Some characters in the drama have specific dockets

carried out by their accusals, and the fact that the drama is based on

historical truth makes it even more challenging.

The characters in this drama are simple, common people. The accused are

charged and convicted of a offense that is impossible to turn out. The following

witchery craze takes topographic point in one of America & # 8217 ; s wholesome, theocratic towns,

which makes the abortion of justness such a enigma even today. The grounds

the scoundrels select the people they do for disapprobation are both simple and

clear. All of the accusers have subterranean motivations, such as retaliation, greed, and

covering up their ain behaviour. Many of the accusers have meddled in witchery

themselves, and are hence double to be distrusted. ( Warshow 116 ) The tribunal

inmates the victims on the most absurd testimony, and the reader has to inquire

how the Judgess and the townsfolk could allow such a parody continue.

The taking character of the drama is John Proctor, a adult male who frequently

serves as the lone voice of ground in the drama. He had an matter with Abigail

Williams, who later charges his married woman with witchery. Proctor is apparently the

merely individual who can see through the kids & # 8217 ; s accusals. The reader sees him

as one of the more & # 8220 ; modern & # 8221 ; figures in the tests because he is hardheaded,

disbelieving, and a voice of common sense. He thinks the misss can be cured of

their & # 8220 ; enchantments & # 8221 ; with a good tanning. ( Warshow 114 ) At the terminal of the drama,

Proctor has to do a pick. He can either squeal to a offense he is guiltless

of to salvage himself from executing, or decease proclaiming his artlessness. He ends up

taking decease because a false confession would intend implicating other accused

people, including Rebecca Nurse. ( Rovere 2632 ) Proctor feels she is good and

pure, unlike his extramarital ego, and does non desire to stain her good name and

the names of his other guiltless friends by implicating them. ( Warshow 117 ) By

taking decease, Proctor takes the high route and becomes a true tragic hero. The

reader feels that his penalty is unfair ( particularly since the offense of

witchery is imagined and unprovable. ) Because the tests take topographic point in a

Christian, American town, the reader must so inquire if anything like this

could go on in his or her ain clip. This is peculiarly true of people who

saw the drama when it foremost came out, in the epoch of McCarthyism.

Ann and Thomas Putnam are two provokers of the witchery craze in

the drama. Ann Putnam is the 1 who first workss the thought that Betty is

bewitched. Her motive for lying is obvious ; she needs to cover up her ain

behaviour. After all, she had sent her girl to Tituba to raise up the dead

in order to happen out what happened to her dead babes. She can & # 8217 ; Ts have it said

that she, a Christian adult female, patterns the heathen art with a slave from Barbados,

or that her girl & # 8217 ; s unwellness is her mistake because she sent her to take part

in the black art, so she blames others. ( Warshow 113 ) Retaliation is another

motivation of hers. Tituba & # 8217 ; s fast ones led her to the decision that her babes were

murdered while under the attention of a accoucheuse, Goody Osburn. Osburn is subsequently

accused of witchery. Ann Putnam & # 8217 ; s hubby besides influences her. ( Rovere 2632 )

Thomas Putman had nominated his married woman & # 8217 ; s brother-in-law, James Bayley, to

be the curate of Salem. He was qualified and the people voted him in, but a

cabal stopped his credence. Thomas Putnam felt superior to most people in

the small town, and was angry that they rejected his pick for curate. He was

besides involved in a land difference with Francis Nurse, whose married woman Rebecca is

accused of witchery. This is detailed in the film Three Sovereigns for Sarah,

which shows fundamentally the same narrative as the drama. Many people died because of

Thomas Putnam & # 8217 ; s land hungriness. The Putnams, driven by their demand for retaliation and

their greed, contributed to the immense farce of justness that was the Salem

Witch Trails.

The motivation of Abigail Williams is every bit easy to decode. Abigail is

the ring

leader of the group of misss who testify in tribunal against those accused

of witchery. She and John Proctor had an matter antecedently, when she worked

as a retainer in his place, and she evidently does non desire it to be over. She

says to him, & # 8220 ; I know how you clutched my dorsum behind your house and sweated like

a entire whenever I come near! Or did I dream that? It & # 8217 ; s she [ Elizabeth ]

that put me out, you can non feign it were you. I saw your face when she put

me out, and you loved me so and you do now! & # 8221 ; ( Miller 20 ) Elizabeth,

Proctor & # 8217 ; s married woman, had fired Abigail as their retainer because she suspected the

matter. Clearly, Abigail despises her. She tells Proctor, & # 8220 ; She is melanizing

my name in the small town! She is stating prevarications about me! She is a cold, whining

adult female, and you bend to her! & # 8221 ; ( Miller 21 ) Abigail is evidently ferocious with

Elizabeth because she feels Elizabeth has cut off her relationship with John and

soiled her repute in the small town. Abigail uses the witchery muss to acquire

back at Elizabeth. Of class, Elizabeth Proctor is charged with witchery.

In 1692, the existent historical Abigail Williams was about 11 old ages old.

Why, so, does Arthur Miller decide to do her a immature adult female of 18 or

19 for this drama? He does this in order to contrive an extramarital

relationship between Abigail and John Proctor. This relationship motivates her

denouncement of John and Elizabeth Proctor. This offers an easy theatrical

motivation for one of his characters. ( Warshow 114 ) It besides makes Abigail look

like a cold, deliberate grownup. This is more like an component of twentieth

century amusement than of a theocracy in 1692, but Miller has to appeal to

his audience to do the drama popular in 1953.

The remainder of the misss in the drama, including Susanna Walcott, Mercy

Lewis, Mary Warren, and Betty Parris, are all covering up for their ain actions.

Abigail herself admits that they were dancing in the forests, and Parris says they

were naked. The misss had been inquiring the slave, Tituba, to raise enchantments, and

Parris finds out about it. He says, & # 8220 ; And what shall I say to them? That my

girl and my niece I discovered dancing like pagan in the wood? & # 8221 ; ( Miller

7 ) And so, & # 8220 ; My ain family is discovered to be the really centre of some

obscene pattern. Abominations are done in the forest & # 8211 ; & # 8221 ; ( Miller 8 ) The

kids know that they are traveling to be punished for their behaviour, and they

do up the narratives that they were bewitched to put the incrimination elsewhere. When

avaricious people like the Putnams start promoting them, it becomes easier to lie

and they begin to bask all the attending and power they hold. They are

likely besides afraid of Abigail. After a piece, she makes it impossible for the

other misss to abjure their accusals. When Mary Warren tries to state the

truth, Abigail accuses her of witchery, excessively. The misss find themselves stuck

in a trap of their ain devising, and in the witchery game until the terminal.

( Rovere 2632 )

Reverend Samuel Parris allows the witchery craze to travel on because

it helps him. At the beginning of the drama he asks Abigail, & # 8220 ; Do you understand

that I have many enemies? There is a cabal that is sworn to drive me from my

dais. Make you understand that? & # 8221 ; Everyone in the town did non have Parris

good, and he feels like he has & # 8220 ; fought here three long old ages to flex these

stiff-necked people & # 8221 ; to him. ( Miller 9 ) The witchery parody unites the

people of the town to him. In this clip of religious crisis, they look to their

curate for counsel and support. Parris is now acquiring the following he ne’er

had before. It is for this selfish ground that he allows the enchantress Hunt to

continue, even though he knows it is non valid. ( Warshow 117 )

The characters in The Crucible are interesting and easy to read. The

victims of the enchantress trails are guiltless, religious people who are wronged

because of their accusers & # 8217 ; greed, vindictiveness, and need to cover up for their

ain actions. The deep engagement of the accusers, particularly Abigail, and the

lengths they will travel to in order to go on their parody make the drama

absorbing and haunting.

Plants Cited

Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. Toronto: Bantam, 1959.

Rovere, Richard. & # 8220 ; Arthur Miller & # 8217 ; s Conscience. & # 8221 ; 1957. Ed. Harold Bloom. New

York: Chelsea House, 1987.

Warshow, Robert. & # 8220 ; The Liberal Conscience in & # 8220 ; The Crucible. & # 8221 ; 1962.

Ed. Robert W. Corrigan. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1969.

336

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