Thesis Statement: The purpose is to educate and display to the reader thehysteria and injustice that can come from a group of people that thinks it’sdoing the “right” thing for society in relation to The Crucible byArthur Miller. I. Introduction: The play is based on the real life witch huntsthat occurred in the late 1600’s in Salem, Massachusetts.
It shows the people’sfear of what they felt was the Devil’s work and shows how a small group ofpowerful people wrongly accused and killed many people out of this fear andignorance. Also important to the play is how Arthur Miller depicts how oneselfish, evil person like Abigail Williams can bring others down and make othersfollow her to commit evil acts. These evil acts affect even the most honestpeople in the town like John and Elizabeth Proctor, and Rebecca Nurse who cannotfight the accusations made against them by those following Abigail. Thosefollowing Abigail are considered to be holy men that are full of honesty andjustice, but the play shows that even those who are thought to be respectableand right, like people of government or community leaders can bring death toinnocent people if they are driven by something wrong. II. Plot: The plot beginswith the inciting incident where Rev. Parris finds his niece Abigail Williamsand his daughter Betty along with his slave Tituba doing some dance in theforest.
Right when he finds them, Betty becomes sick and won’t talk or open hereyes, about this time other people’s daughters become sick too. Rumors spreadthat witch craft is involved in Betty’s illness and the development of the plotbegins. Important to the major development of the plot is the fact that in theforest, Abigail and the others were just playing like witches. But they werefollowing Abigail because she wanted to try to put a curse on a lady namedElizabeth Proctor. Abigail was in love with Mrs.
Proctor’s husband, JohnProctor, and she wanted to some how get rid of Elizabeth. The problem was thatas the rumors spread about the devil Abigail went along with it and blamed theslave woman Tituba for forcing her to join the devil. The rising action beginswhen Tituba out of fear of death starts naming people that she says were withthe devil when the devil came to her. This is all a lie though because onceAbigail blamed Tituba she did not want to turn the story around and admit thatshe was lying in the first place because one, she was afraid of the consequencesof such a strong lie, and two, because she saw it as an opportunity to get ridof Elizabeth Proctor. The people of the town made everything worse when theytried hard to find out who was teaming up with the devil.
It was easier for themto blame the devil for their problems of society than fix the problems of theirown strict way of life. So the girls involved with Abigail, like Mercy Lewis andMary Warren named many people of the town as witches. These people were put andjail and would be hanged if they did not confess to the crime of devil worshipor witch craft. Another part of the developing plot is that John Proctor knowsAbigail and her friends are lying, but he is afraid to say any thing becauseeight months before he had and affair with Abigail and did not want to be seenby the town as a lecher, which means wife cheater. So, Mr. Proctor has to fightwith himself to come out and tell the truth or his wife might die because ofAbigail saying she was a witch. The climax of the play is in the court room whenJohn Proctor and Mary Warren finally say that Abigail is lying and nobody wasdoing witch craft.
But Abigail is a good actor and liar and actually turns itaround on Mr. Proctor and says he tries to get every one to worship the devil.The court finds him guilty of devil worship and wants to hang him if he does notconfess. The falling action of the play comes when Rev. Parris comes to courtthree months later and says that Abigail has stolen all his money and has lefttown and he feels guilty for the people who were accused by her and hung becauseof it. The court does not want to admit they were wrong though because they feelthe people will rebel if they now come out and say “sorry, we made a smallmistake”. So, since they won’t let Mr. Proctor go, they want him to confessto save his life, here another mini climax occurs because he does not want tosign a big lie.
Since Mr. Proctor felt guilty about what he did in his past withAbigail he decides that now he will save his name with his pride and refuses tosign the confession. So the resolution comes with John Proctor’s hanging, but itdoes not seem like any thing was resolved, just that the people who accused theinnocent people feel very guilty with what they did.
III. Characterization: Ithink the best character development is the one of John Proctor, a farmer thatlived in the town. He represents a person who is not perfect but tries hard tobe responsible for his family and himself. He is a strong person who is notafraid to go against society because of what he feels. Since he disagreed withthe Rev. Parris’ sermons he didn’t go to mass and at first did not get involvedwith the witch hunts. This shows that he was his own person.
The problem is thatthis caused him to be the main one to fight the court because he was notfriendly with the people who made up the court. His motivation in the play isthe search for the truth. He values his wife’s love and the concerns of hischildren so he wants to be a good man and to him the truth is very important inbeing a good man. His conflict though is his past affair with Abigail andbecause of this he is hesitant to fight the witch hunters and expose Abigail asa liar. But, he wants to be honest and save his wife. So he has to be truthfuland expose himself to the judgement of the town’s people in order to save hiswife and the other innocent people who are accused.
Mr. Proctor’s friends areonly his wife and later Rev. Hale, who at first accused many people with Abigailbut then saw how she was a liar and tried to save John Proctor. The growth ofJohn Proctor is from some one who tries to find out who he is in the begging ofthe play to a person that dies for what he believes in a society that wronglyaccuses him. In the end he had what he wanted most, integrity. He facedjudgement but died in the end with the respect of his wife and those whooriginally accused him.
IV. Point of View: John Proctor’s view supports mythesis statement very well because throughout the story he knew all along thatthe witch hunt was based on a huge lie from Abigail Williams. So he saw thehysteria and the injustice that was developing the entire time. He felt that thepeople of the court, Rev. Parris, Rev.
Hale, Judge Hawthorne, and GovernorDanforth were killing people in the name of God simply because of their fear ofevil. They jumped to believe that Abigail was right and that the devil wasresponsible for all the wrong in the town. And, even though John Proctor knewall this and he was innocent he still died from the hands of the small group ofwrong people who thought they were doing the right thing. V.
Theme: The insightto life is not to be so quick to follow the majority, they are not always right.We should strive to think for ourselves on an individual basis, we should notjudge others because we all have faults, and we should always look out for thehysteria that comes from the combined fears of ignorant people. We should alsorealize that being an individual has bad effects sometimes and even though wemight be right we have to be brave when fighting society because we will notalways win. VI. Conclusion: I’m glad I read this play. Even though I’ve beentold to think for myself, I never saw such a good example of what happens whenyou don’t. The play also had a lot of suspense , I kept wanting to hear thetapes to see what happened to the characters in the end, it was never boring.
Iwill now be more aware of what happens when people are afraid of something andtogether try wildly to get rid of what they think the problem is. My olderbrother said the play “showed the same mentality of the German peopleduring the Holocaust”, and when I understood what he meant I say that it isa lot like the part in the movie Beauty and the Beast when the character Gastonmakes every body crazy to kill the Beast just because Gaston feels he is evil.The people did not think for them selves and believed some one else and becauseof that they almost killed the Beast who was actually innocent.English Essays