Three Universal Themes In The Crucible By Arthur Miller

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Throughout literary work every reader will come across a theme, or themes, present. A theme is the central idea or ideas explored in a story. Each reader will decipher the themes of a story differently than another but open interpretation is what makes literature beautiful. One widely known literary work that I will write about is The Crucible, a play written by Arthur Miller. The play was not only inspired by the Salem witch trials that took place in Massachusetts in 1692 but the McCarthy trials during the 1950’s. The play centers around the extreme behavior that can result from dark desires and hidden agendas. And as one reads this historical drama they discover many universal and enduring themes. Three universal themes that I will discuss are good vs. evil, justice, and religion. The first theme that I will discuss is religion. Religion is woven and deeply rooted into the life of Salem in The Crucible. The townspeople practiced a form of Christianity that is based on a set of rules: attend church every Sunday, never work on the day of worship, trust the Gospel, respect and accept the minister’s word like it is God’s, etc. And this form of Christianity is referred to as Puritanism. Puritans were reformed English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries whose goal was to "purify" the Church of England from Catholic practices. For people charged with practicing witchcraft, any departure from these rules could be used as evidence for something far greater in the present.
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