The Role Of Power In The Crucible

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Despite their deeply religious values, the members of the Puritan Society in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible are equally as sinful as the rest of the world. The Puritans, known for turning to God when given any matter at hand, lay blame on the Devil, regardless of their contradictory values. By blaming on him for their wrongdoings, the Devil earns power through the Puritans restoring to involve him whenever any one thing goes wrong. Power is defined by one’s reputation, status, wealth, gender, and age; although the natural deciding factor of one’s power in the Puritan society is land, the Devil himself holds ultimate power. Despite the fact that he does not appear as a human figure, he controls the thoughts and actions of the Puritan society, serving as the ultimate threat. The Devil influences the villagers of Salem, Massachusetts by using their ongoing fear of him to manipulate their thoughts and actions in a manner to set himself in the highest position by the end of the Act 1.
As the Puritans lean toward blaming the Devil for their misgivings and suspicions, he gains control of their thoughts. Ruth and Betty pretend to fall ill after Reverend Parris catches them in the forest with Tituba and other girls, partaking in what is considered to be witchcraft: an act that defies the laws of femininity in the Puritan society. Mrs. Putnam does not buy her daughter Ruth’s act; rather, she sees it as “‘the Devil’s touch”’ which “‘is heavier than sick”’ (13). Believing that the Devil
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