Themes Relating To Characters In The Crucible

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Themes relating to characters in The Crucible

In Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’ there are several obvious themes, which relate to certain characters. This paper will discuss how the changes undergone by Mary Warren, Reverend Hale and John Proctor relate to the themes of hysteria, reputation and reason. In order to examine this in depth each theme and each character will have to be analyzed. Once the themes have been explored they can be linked to each character individually, each character relates to one of the themes.

The perhaps most critical theme in ‘The Crucible’ is the role that hysteria can play in tearing apart a community. Hysteria replaces logic and enables people to believe that their neighbors, whom they have always considered upstanding people, are committing absurd and unbelievable crimes—communing with the devil, killing babies, and so on. In ‘The Crucible’, the townsfolk accept and become active in the hysterical climate not only out of genuine religious faithfulness but also because it gives them a chance to express repressed sentiments and to act on long-held grudges. The most obvious case is Abigail, who uses the situation to accuse Elizabeth Proctor of witchcraft and have her sent to jail. But others thrive on the hysteria as well: Reverend Parris strengthens his position within the village, albeit temporarily, by making scapegoats of people like Proctor who question his authority. The wealthy, ambitious Thomas Putnam gains revenge on Francis Nurse by getting Rebecca, Francis's virtuous wife, convicted of the supernatural murders of Ann Putnam's babies. In the end, hysteria can thrive only because people benefit from it. It suspends the rules of daily life and allows the acting out of every dark desire and hateful urge under the cover of morality.
Mary Warren is the servant in John Proctor's household and a member of Abigail's group of

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