The Crucible Character Analysis

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Power, the ability to maintain control, command, or authority over others can often be determined by one’s reputation and their ability to persuade others. This principle is displayed within The Crucible, a play written by Arthur Miller, which follows the town of Salem, Massachusetts navigating through a “Witchcraft” outbreak supposedly lead by the Devil. Within such a theocratic society such as Salem, the Devil is often associated with death, fear, and uncertainty, with his name alone often believed to influence others into following through with certain actions. The Devil, as a key figure behind the “witchcraft” occurring in Salem, is crafted by Miller as the most influential “character” based off the fear derived from his infamous reputation and his ability to control characters’ actions.
Within a society with very strong puritan ideals, the Devil is renowned for his cruel reputation. His reputation is often correlated with trauma, death and confusion and his name summons immediate fear among the townsfolk. As the Putnams conclude that there are harmful spirits among their children, Mrs. Putnam also proclaims how she “ha[s] laid seven babies unbaptized in… this year, my Ruth... shrivels like a sucking mouth were pullin’ on her life too”(15). Ultimately, the Devil’s power is manufactured by the residents of Salem, based on fear from unexplainable incidents. For Mrs. Putnam, having each of her seven babies passing away provokes her to accuse the Devil of being responsible.
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