Persecution In Arthur Miller's The Crucible

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Scandal. Sex. Persecution. Desecration. These four distinct concepts are recurring themes which guide the life of John Proctor throughout the tale that is Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. As a man of Puritan faith and values, John lives a humble life as a farmer until one exciting evening in the village of Salem, Massachusetts-- when a group of young girls dancing lewdly with a supposed witch in the woods are caught by the town Minister. One of the youth in particular, a cunning girl named Abigail, steals Proctor away for a conversation hidden from the general public, and their secret is revealed to us: their forbidden (not to mention pedophilic) affair a year prior, which had been discovered by John’s wife, Elizabeth. Abigail, anguished by Elizabeth’s…show more content…
Either god is real and is punishing him for his impunity during the affair, or he is dead and has relinquished control over the stability of nature and humanity. John pursues the latter, likely because of his pride as both a Christian and a male. If we look at the evidence, it is clear that John is a man made of fear and pride. He would rather believe that god is dead, and the wrath of a godless land is more believable than the fact that he has broken his religious code of conduct. It’s more entertaining than surprising to watch John struggle with his pride, as he attempts to convince himself that he is a man of God who simply committed a deed as a will of social deterioration, rather than a blasphemous mistake that would call into question his character. Christian men of the seventeenth century were entirely reliant on the social constructs of not only having a tough stereotypically male nature, but also holding on to faith as a means of filling in his heart. This is seen by his demand that Mary tell Judge Danforth the women are liars, as he is not willing to complete the task himself. Danforth, sees through the plot and traps John by telling him that his wife, Elizabeth, is pregnant. The moment is furthered when Abigail enters the room, and gets rid of John’s hope at convicting her by accusing Mary herself of being a
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