Sexism In The Crucible

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The Deep Roots of Sexism: Preconceived Sin and Weakness In the Christian bible, when the first woman commits the first sin she creates an enduring image of her gender; she is drawn away from god and purity, to evil and sin. The book The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne and the play The Crucible by Arthur Miller both deal with not only sin in Puritan times, but the ignominy stemming from women’s wrongdoings. The Scarlet Letter follows Hester Prynne, a woman who, after committing adultery is forced to wear a scarlet A to punish her for her sins. The Crucible is about the Witch Trials in Salem, which are brought on by the beautiful, manipulative and jealous Abigail. Who in her quest to replace the wife of the man she had an affair with (John…show more content…
In Miller’s play many women in Salem are taken in by the devil (as the town sees it) or are forced to join him in evil. As the so called evil moves through the town, it’s citizens accept the idea all too easily. When the church minister’s black slave, Tituba, confesses to being a witch she claims the devil drew he to his side by promising her a “pretty dress to wear” (47), a story which readily believed by Parris. This illustrates the pervasive sexism because people accept that a women was swayed to the devil’s side by a pretty dress. That is all it takes. It is also important because it displays that Tituba only says this because it is what they want to hear, what they expect to hear. These beliefs are also apparent in the easy conviction of many good women during the witch trials. Take for example Rebecca Nurse, who at the beginning of the play has such a great reputation that people in the next town over have “heard of your [her] great charities” (37) but is later implicated in “the marvelous and supernatural murder of Goody Putnam’s babies” (71). This shows the underlying sexism because the town accepts Rebecca's inculpation, even though she was one of the most respected members of the community. She was, despite her reputation, still weak and prone to evil simply because of her sex. No man in the story is as easily implicated, for a man to be incriminated he must make move directly against the court, like Proctor, who attempts to overthrow the court. Overall in The Crucible it is clear that women are seen as more easily
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