‘The Crucible’, the play made by Arthur Miller which is based on an historical event, the Salem witchcraft trials which took place in Massachusetts in 1692. He was inspired to write this novel because of what happened in America in the 1950’s.Tthe setting of the drama is in Salem, a small puritan society, which provides a catastrophic atmosphere for the events that take place. The world of Salem is enclosed by strict moral and religious codes which inevitably encourage the growth of hypocrisy and the abuse of power.
The significant manurer Arthur Miller did to present his play was to use all his characters effectively, even minor characters. By using the cast to support his purpose, he is able to effectively elaborate the different nature, feelings and attitude of different characters throughout the play regardless of age or gender. The main cast resolves around 3 main characters, John Proctor, Elizabeth Proctor (husband & wife) and young Abigail, the antagonist of the story.
The representation of the female gender Elizabeth has taken is a rather cold, but highly moral woman, her job is to care for the house, this is shown by how she cleans the table as dialogue is established and serves John as he comfortly settles down after a hard day at work, thus her inferior status in this patriarchal society is established. The female role was expected to be quiet, submissive and subservient, which is portrayed in the scene with John.
Elizabeth is a prime example of how woman we’re expected to be like in Salem. She is stoic, in keeping with the cultural expectations, where any sign of emotion would be seen as unseemly. She has practised this tradition all her life and is willing to accept the laws of her society however unjust it may be.
The town of Salem was a rigid society, emphasizing work and the suppression of individual desires. Puritans consider sexual desires as unnatural, a sin, and a threat to the society. Thus, the society punishes those who violate God’s blessing. There is without a doubt a way around this as ‘the Crucible’ demonstrates, as long as they do it under the church’s/gods will.
Despite the uneasiness of their relationship, Elizabeth serves as Proctor’s conscience. When John is experiencing confusion and ambivalence, she prompts him back onto the path of justice. When Abigail sparks rumours of witch-hunts upon the community, which Elizabeth has become a target, Elizabeth urges John to put a stop to the witch trials by revealing the truth about Abigail’s sinful, destructive ways.
It is made clear that the privilege of certain characters is more essential then other’s, such as Tituba, the first victim suspected of witchcraft and the only person in colour. Since she has a poor statue, people will refuse to help her. This encourages the girls to pick on the poorest & weakest members of the society, since eventually leading to Elizabeth being targeted
Despite the uneasiness of their relationship, Elizabeth serves as Proctor’s conscience. When her husband experiences confusion or ambivalence, she prompts him onto the path of justice. When the manipulative Abigail sparks a witch-hunt in their community, of which Elizabeth becomes a target, Elizabeth urges John to put a stop to the witch trials by revealing the truth about Abigail’s sinful, destructive ways.