Hysteria In The Crucible Essay

852 Words4 Pages
One of the major themes in The Crucible is hysteria and how it allows the people of the town to give up reason and morality. In order to understand why so many of the towns people are afraid, the community of Salem begins to believe that this fear has justifiable origins. The people of Salem are so concerned with their reputations that they are willing to let others be harmed, fuelling hysteria in the process, just to protect themselves (Florman and Kestler). Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible shows how hysteria, powered by religious zeal, replaces logic, leading to chaotic situations that ultimately tear apart the community. Much of the hysteria brought onto the community is powered largely by the strict Puritans’ religious zeal. Miller shows one of this societies most pressing rules is the insistence upon the public’s repentance for having done wrong (Ferres 32). To the townspeople, ensuring that your neighbor was punished for having done something wrong became a necessity to them in order to protect the god they love and prove…show more content…
Miller is able to portray the influence in which the strict Puritan society had on the communities of that time, in The Crucible. He was also able to show how hysteria could turn neighbors against one another and accuse people, that they have known for a long time, of practicing witchcraft (Florman and Kestler). Even before the hysteria began, the play foreshadowed what the hysteria would be like when Parris makes a series of accusations against Abigail and his parishioners (“SparkNotes on The Crucible”). After Miller has finished his play, he describes the town and what has become of since the last of the trials. “Certain farms which had belonged to the victims were left to ruin, and for more than a century no one would buy them or live on them” (Miller “Echoes Down the
Open Document