Theme Of Integrity In The Crucible

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Published in 1952, during a period of cold war tensions, which culminated in the ideological witch trials of the mcarthy era in America; The crucible by Arthure miller is set in 1692 during the witch trials in salem massachusetts. The author has used allegory to position the reader to draw parrelels betweeen the to time periods and critisize the persecution that occured in both eras. One of the main themes that Miller has used to portray this viewpoint is the representation of personal integrity. Integrity is the quality of having strong moral pronciples.This is acheived through strongly contrasted characterisation of characters such as Abigail williams and and Rebecca Nurse, aswell as the inclusion of textual features such as irony, symbolism…show more content…
This magnanimous, sensible woman refuses to follow the hysteria even to save her own life. Nurse,s charity becomes apparent in Act one when reverand John Hale comments on her reputation outside Salem. Nurse's magnanimous personality is emphasised even more in act 3 when Hale says "If Rebecca Nurse be tainted, then nothings left to stop the whole green world from burning". This quote marks the point in the play where Hale realizes that innocent people are being accused of witchcraft. Rebecca Nurs refuses to abandon her moral code, even when facing death. this becomes evident when she says "why,it is a lie, how may I damn myself,I cannot, I cannot. Even though Nurse had the oppurtunity to falsely confess and survive, she decided to retain her integrity despite paying the ultimate sacrifice. The textual feature of Nurse,s dialogue emphasises her goodness and reason. For example,in act 4, she says "let you hear nothing, another judgement awaits us all as she and John Proctor are led to the gallows. Another textual feature used to show the idiocy of the trials is irony. It is ironic that the innocent people such as Nurse are punished, while the wicked go unpunished. The Salem witch trials can be compared to a crucible. A crucible is a pot used to melt metals and other substances. However, a crucible also symbolises a difficult test or trial. In the context of the play,…show more content…
Proctor is widely respected in the Salem community. However, he has a secret that threatens his reputation. He cheated on his wife Elizebeth Proctor with Abigail Williams. As a result, he has a strong internal conflict regarding his integrity. Proctor is a benevolent man at heart, however he has sinned according to puritan law. Proctor doubts his goodness and constantly seeks forgiveness. This is evident when he says "I cannot mount the giblet like a saint, my honesty is broke elizebeth, I am no good man. When Proctor finally has the bravery to go to court, despite the risk of exposure, he breaks down under the pressure of Abigails power and denounces god in frustration. As a result of this he is arrested. In act four, Proctor's integrity outweighs his will to live. It Proctor values his reputation, albeit in a positive way (unlike characters such as Abigail) when he says"Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!". Throughout the play, the author has used a variety of textual features to represent Proctor including his own notes. In the play, Miller has used notes to help position the reader to develop viewpoints on characters. Millers commentary about Proctor says " He is a sinner, a
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