Preservation Of Society In Arthur Miller's The Crucible

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In The Crucible, Arthur Miller makes one of his particular beliefs vehemently clear: the preservation of one’s reputation is more important than the preservation of one’s life. This notion is most distinctly presented through the setting he chooses, the culture he depicts, and the characters he develops. Using such elements, a tug of war between wanting to survive and wanting to protect their “good names” is created within each character. When the war is fought inside a protagonist, protecting one’s image takes precedence almost every time. The Crucible takes place in early 1690s Massachusetts, where Puritanism is expected to be both the law and livelihood of everyone living in Salem. The community that the story revolves around believes in following their doctrine to the point of perfection, creating a society in…show more content…
Because such women are already seen as worthy of death, accusing and convicting them of witchcraft is not difficult. Every small gesture made by disreputable women is seen as evidence against them. Even Mary Warren tells the Proctors that the last woman convicted was condemned because, “she come to this very door, beggin’ bread and a cup of cider - and mark this: whenever I turned her away, she mumbled… It’s hard proof, hard as rock, the judges said” (Miller 57-58). Miller uses this place and time in history to aid his capture of how vital status is. The Salem Witch Trials were a time during which the way people viewed each other was in complete control of life or death situations. It is an excellent background to build upon, considering Miller’s secondary goal of indoctrinating readers with a belief in the utter necessity of a good reputation. It creates an implied mentality of honor over life, because in this setting, there is no survival for those who lack high

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