The Crucible Gender Roles Essay

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Deep in the earth of Massachusetts lies the graves of many innocent women, all of whom lost their lives for unjust accusations of demonic witchcraft used to harm the future of their people -- the children. The lives of the lost women remain lurking in the minds of even today’s people, all forever questioning the extreme untrust neighbors held against one another and its influence on their perceived leaders. Arthur Miller elaborates upon the unjust power hierarchy of these times in his play, The Crucible, specifically depicting the influence that gender roles cast upon the Salem court and community. In the once noble town of Salem, the livelihood of its people surrounded a particular gender hierarchy, forcing women to constantly have less …show more content…

When analyzing Mary Warren, one can see that she works consistently throughout the court to gain higher respect and power, deflecting the true blame off of herself. She, along with all of the girls in her position, act as though their image means everything to them; however, she contradicts this ideal in the end of the play. One may be led to think that she told this truth for an act of religious obedience, but she only admits her falsity out of fear of her employer, John Proctor. Proctor erupts upon Mary Warren, exclaiming, “Make your peace with it! Now Hell and Heaven grapple on our backs, and all our old pretense is ripped away–make your peace!” (2.437). Mary Warren clasps respect in the court, holding evidence for several of the prosecutions. Nevertheless, Proctor lurks behind her with his even higher power, and he threatens and even forces her to use her respect to turn the courts to agree with his view. Similarly, Abigail wins an utmost amount of authority in the court and works to become a model of goodness and purity, with all prosecuting decisions practically falling directly upon her. Despite her well formed facade, her uncle lurks behind her, consistently striking fear into her to remain in the position of holding ultimate religious and social power in Salem. Reverend Parris openly opposes John Proctor and compels her to falsify her stance in court to please him and his reputation, turning many away from Proctor. Parris uses his power to frighten Abigail, accusing, “Now look you, child, your punishment will come in its time. But if you trafficked with spirits in the forest I must know it now, for surely my enemies will, and they will ruin me with it” (1.46). Though Abigail seems to hold the majority of the power and respect in the

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