The Portrayal of Women in Arthur Miller's the Crucible

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Veronica Lindquist Mrs. Lang English 2 29 April 2013 The Portrayal of Women in The Crucible Women, throughout history, have always been viewed as the inferior gender. In literature, art, religion, and society itself, women are, and have been since the beginning of time, thought of as the lesser sex. In Christianity, for example, women are generally seen as “flawed” since the Holy Bible states that God created womankind from the rib of man at the beginning of time. This paradigm is conveyed in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, which was based on the true story of the Salem witch trials, by the treatment, roles, and courses of action of the female characters in the story. Arthur Miller seeks to expose female inferiority by portraying them, from a Christian perspective, as imperfect and manipulative beings in The Crucible. Salem, Massachusetts, at the time during which The Crucible takes place, was populated by Puritans, who were strict Christians. They based their law off their religious beliefs, and thus, Salem at this time was a theocracy. The Puritans formed their society around the teachings of the Holy Bible, including the treatment of their women. In the Holy Bible, Ephesians 5:22 tells women, “Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord” (The English Standard Version Bible, Eph. 5.22). The Puritans in The Crucible adhere strictly to this. The married female characters, for the most part, strive to serve their husbands. For example, Elizabeth Proctor describes herself as “a good Christian woman,” and she feels that it is her job to serve her husband, John Proctor, because she is a Christian. Her need to please him directly affects what she does. A scholar stated, “Not only were Elizabeth’s actions controlled by John, but her emotions were as well” (Women Stereotypes in the Crucible Essay par. 2). His hold on her actions is demonstrated in the court
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