Repression In The Crucible

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The Crucible: How years of repression destroyed a community.
The belief in witches had been present in Christian religion since the 14th century. The use of the supernatural as a way to explain the unknown would lead to a ‘witchcraft crave’ that would ripple through Europe, resulting in the execution of tens of thousands, mainly women, who were accused of ‘signing the Devil’s Book’. In this day and age it is difficult to understand why such horrific events took place, however while the fear of witchcraft was infectious at the time, now it is analysed from a much more objective point of view, as Arthur Miller said himself, ‘What terrifies one generation is likely to bring a puzzled smile to the next’(Miller, 1996). The Salem Witch Trials took
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The Law and the Church were the same and initially it was only formed of puritans, more specifically, free white male puritans. The puritans were a radical religious group which had immigrated to the Bay Colony from England during the reign of Elizabeth I. who seen the danger in their beliefs. They believed they were ‘God’s chosen people’ sent to reform and purify the Church of England. Subsequently, they were convinced that the devil was constantly trying to test their devotion and loyalty to God, thus the strong beliefs in witchcraft. As mentioned before, fear was infectious and the villagers were already on edge with political instability, so when Abigail Williams accused Tituba, Reverend Parris’ black slave from Barbados, of witchcraft, mass hysteria broke out and the seed of paranoia was planted. The Crucible portrays society’s tendency to react illogically when frightened, and this fear is often manipulated by demagogues, thus, The Crucible often goes hand in hand with Politics of Terror. This concept is nothing new to this day and age and certainly wasn’t to Arthur Miller, as he explained that ‘The Crucible was an act of desperation’ (Miller, 1996)
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