AP Language, Period 1
22 August 2014
The saying goes that money is the root of all evil. But could religion also be as corruptible as money? Arthur Miller, in his play The Crucible, shows that religion can be used as a tool for a person to act in his own interest and influence the masses, as well as demonstrate what can a person who is devoutly religious through Abigail’s behavior and through the Proctor’s belief system in order to illustrate the damage religion can cause.
The first way Miller shows religion can be dangerous is through the actions of Abigail. For example, when Mary is confessing to faking witchcraft, Abigail and the other girls turn on her, mimicking her words and actions. This shows that Abigail is an excellent actress, manipulating those who are deeply religious by playing on their fears. Abigail uses the background of religion to accomplish her own agenda. Furthermore, in the beginning of the play Abigail lies to her uncle, Reverend Paris, accusing Tituba of witchcraft as to not get in trouble for dancing in the woods. This shows that she is selfish, not caring about others in her community and only wanting to protect herself. This shows that through her desire for power she puppeteers people’s souls. Abigail uses religion to get what she wants.
Miller uses the Proctors to show what happens to people who do not follow the strict religious guidelines of the church. For example, the Proctors do not attend church every Sunday and their youngest sun is not baptized because Proctor does not see the light of God in Reverend Paris and as a result they become suspicious of witchcraft. This shows that if a person is not equally involved then he is considered an outcast. This shows that they become so focused on religion that they do not care about the community.