Themes In The Crucible By Arthur Miller

921 words - 4 pages

In every literary work, there are themes. A theme is a broad idea, moral or message of a book or story. One individual may construe the themes of a book or story differently than another, but that is the pure beauty of themes. One great literary work is The Crucible, a play written by Arthur Miller. Succinctly, the play is about the Salem witch trials that took place in Massachusetts in 1692. Throughout the story, the townspeople indict their neighbors of being a witch and practicing witchcraft. On the surface, this historical drama has a few universal and enduring themes. Themes are universal because regardless of where in the world, the ideas still relates to everyone and is understood. Themes are enduring because the ideas are found back in ancient times and today in modern society. In view of the fact that The Crucible was published in 1953 and is still being read and analyzed around the world, the themes of reputation, empowerment and hysteria found in the play are both universal and enduring.
One theme explored in The Crucible is reputation. Throughout the play, many characters are focused on maintaining their public reputation and good name. They also believe that their names and reputations will be impaired because of their friends’ sins. A good example of how the theme of reputation is shown is through Revered Parris. In one scene, Reverend Parris talks to Abigail Williams about the incident with his daughter Betty in the forest. He says to Abigail, “There is a faction that is sworn to drive me from my pulpit”. He believes that this supernatural incident with his daughter Betty will ruin his reputation with the people of Salem, and it will eventually cause him to step down from the pulpit. Reputation is a universal and enduring theme because anywhere around the world, a reputation imparts information about a person or object. With that being said, it is imperative for one to have a good reputation because it gives other people a better judgment. In addition, the idea of good and bad reputations will always be present as long as there are people in society.
A second theme revealed in The Crucible is empowerment. During the trials in the play, many characters were given power, which they never had before. These characters were the women. Women in Salem are generalized to be governed by the men and have no choice in anything. The women either work as servants to men or get married and have children. An example of this theme is Abigail Williams. She’s seventeen-years-old and has a great amount of power with the witch trials. In one scene with Reverend Hale, Reverend Parris, Abigail, Mrs. Putnam and Tituba, Abigail is explaining to Reverend Hale about the...

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