Crucible: Salem Witch Trials and Mrs. Yoakam Eng . Essay

Submitted By reyn0953
Words: 689
Pages: 3

Mrs. Yoakam
Eng. 11, Period 4
21 November 2012
Religious Expectations in Salem A crucible is used for testing the impurity of something, which is exactly what occurred in Arthur Miller’s play, ‘The Crucible’. The people in Salem were all blamed for doing wrong so they would put the people through trials. John Proctor was a farmer in his middle thirties. He was respected, yet feared, by people in the community. Abigail was the orphaned niece of Parris. She is only 17 years old. Martha Corey was one of the older people in Salem. Not much is known about her, but her husband Giles Corey, was well known by the people. In Salem, committing adultery, witchcraft, jealousy, and lust all lead to the problems we see in the play, which will be seen in John, Abigail, and Martha. The religious expectations in Salem were difficult to live up to which is why these people failed to commit to it. First, John Proctor confesses to having affair. In Act 3, we see John proctor and many others arguing. John says, “I have known her, sir. I have known her.”(Act 3, line 842). This comes from a scene when many people are in the courtroom, having a trial for someone accused of being a witch. Later, when John is accused of seeing the Devil, he does not sign his confession, knowing it will cost people’s lives and ruin their names within the community. While arguing about his confession, Proctor says “… I blacken all of them when this is nailed to the church the very day they hang for silence” (Act four, lines 707-709). By saying this, Proctor temporarily saves his friends lives, but now risks his own. Bonnet says, in her article, “Abigail… out of lust for John and out of jealousy for Elizabeth Proctor”. Abigail’s jealousy and lust led to her extreme hatred and she started accusing women in Salem of being witches. Abigail was jealous of Elizabeth because she believed John truly loved her and they were “meant to be.” Abigail’s hatred, lust, jealousy, and accusations started the chain of problems for people within the community. For the women in the community, witchcraft may have been the only way to gain authority, since Salem was predominately ran by men. A source said, “…witchcraft may be a way of asserting their will and their power in a system centered on and dominated by men” (Bonnet). Women, who were accused of witchcraft, were tried and most of them hung. This led to the murders of many women and men, one of these women being Martha Corey. Martha Corey plays a