People make choices and this may be driven by different factors. This will examine the analysis of the play The Crucible by Arthur Miller. The play begins with the town wondering about the sickness that is spreading around. The sickness begins with Betty a daughter of Reverend Parris and rumors begin to spread that the cause of the sickness is witchcraft. Reverend Parris is very curious of the slave who he feels is practicing witchcraft. His suspicion extends to his niece Abigail who was at first working for Proctor family and was dismissed. The reason for her dismissal from duty is unknown to Reverend Parris and this enhances his mistrust for Abigail. With the spread of the sickness, everyone in town turns their accusations on their fellow neighbors. Johns wife Elizabeth is arrested in the process for being accused of practicing witchcraft.
Most of these characters accused of practicing witchcraft are not guilty of the accusations. Most of these accusations are driven by motives that the accusers have (Warshow 116). For example, Elizabeth, Johns wife is arrested with accusation leveled against her by Abigail. Abigail manipulates the new maid, Mary, to frame Elizabeth and later John. Most of these motives for accusation are driven either by greed, covering up of something that the public are not intended to know or revenge (Waeshow 116). Abigail had affair with John and when Elizabeth found out she forced John to break off the relationship and fired Abigail. It is this reason that makes her to manipulate Mary to frame Elizabeth in order to revenge.
The accusers of the characters accused of practicing witchcraft are the ones practicing witchcraft, (Warshow 117). Ann and Thomas Putman are believers in witchcraft in the town. Ann Putman is the first person to put claim that Bettys sickness is as a result of witchcraft. She puts all these claims in order to cover up her behavior. She is the one involved with witchcraft and if anyone is to be blamed she should be the first person. she cant have it said that, a Christian woman practices the pagan art with a slave from Barbados, or that her daughters illness is her fault because she sent her to participate in the black art, so she blames others (Warshow 113).
Those accusing others over witchcraft are mostly driven by their self interest motives. Most of them are either hiding something from being known to the public. Thomas Putman nominated James Baley, his wifes brother as a minister of Salem. James was voted and he won but he was denied the chance of being the town minister by the public because of the evil actions by Thomas Putman. Thomas Putman was involved in land dispute with Francis Nurse, whose wife Rebecca is accused of witchcraft (Rovere 2632).
The choices made by characters in the play are mainly driven by their emotions. Abigail is driven by quest for revenge that leads to her false accusation of Elizabeth as one of the people practicing witchcraft. Elizabeth, Proctors wife, had fired Abigail as their servant because she suspected the affair. Clearly, Abigail despises her. She tells Proctor, She is blackening my name in the village! She is telling lies about me! She is a cold, sniveling woman, and you bend to her!(Miller 21).
The characters are faced with hard choices to make and this leads to their wrong decisions. Because of the situations they find themselves, they are forced to make choices that even them they are not happy with. John Proctor is faced with hard choice to make; whether to confess to a crime he is innocent of to save himself from execution or die proclaiming his innocence. He ends up choosing death because a false confession would mean implicating other accused people, including Rebecca Nurse (Rovere 2632). John Proctor is a symbol of someone who is knowledgeable. He made the choice he made to protect others who are also innocent. Sometimes we have to make choices we are not happy with in order to protect those we care about.
Abigail uses the story of witchcraft to revenge on Elizabeth. Arthur uses Abigail, a young and single lady engaging in relationship with a married man, John Proctor to show the adulterous relationship in the family of Proctor. This relationship motivates her denunciation of John and Elizabeth Proctor. This offers an easily theatrical motive for one of his characters, (Warshow 114).
Most of people would do anything to protect what they love or those they care about. This is not different with Elizabeth. Elizabeth suspects about the relationship between Abigail and her husband John Proctor. She fires Abigail to protect her marriage. Elizabeth is known in the play as a Christian woman who is always guided by her strict principles. There be no mark of blame upon my life, Mr. Hale. I am covenanted Christian woman. (Miller 20).
In conclusion, this paper has examined the relationship between the characters in the play The Crucible by Arthur Miller. Human beings are very different from other animals; this is seen in the way they think, act and react to issues. People make choices and this may be driven by different factors. Arthur Millers play is very creative and motivating.
Abbotson, Susan C.W. Masterpieces of 20th-century American Drama. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2005.
Bloom, Harold. Arthur Miller's: The Crucible. Chelsea House, 2008.
Miller Arthur. The Crucible. Toronto: Bantam, 1959.
Rovere Richard. Arthur Millers Conscience.Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chealsea House, 1957.
Warshow Robert. The Liberal Conscience; The Crucible. 1962.
Robert W. Corrigan. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice- Hall, 1969.
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