The Crucible Essay

Submitted By Dechant1
Words: 1831
Pages: 8

Elizabeth M. DeChant
Professor Heather Wright
English 111
6 December 2012 When we were children, our parents did their best to instill a set of rules and values within our tiny little minds. There were many different roles that we learned to play when we were children. Not only were our parents responsible for teaching us these roles (how to be reverent in church, how to restrain ourselves in a huge grocery store full of mysterious objects, how to behave correctly in school, etc.) but other people that you were around were responsible for your education too. They served, or should have served, as good examples to you. These people, without a doubt, influenced each and every one of us to some degree. We all were shaped by this society that surrounds, and still continue to be shaped as the initial view of the world changes too. When we grow up and become adolescent, we begin to recognize the difference between society and ourselves. Whereas, when we were little children, we had no inkling that our parents lived almost doubled lives. What we see and hear in public is the social realm of our lives; generally, everyone behaves in public, hoping not to disgrace themselves and cause embarrassment. At home though, it is a whole other story. At home, or in private even, we can be obnoxious, rude, disgusting, and it would not affect anyone other than ourselves. There is a line between society and us as individuals. At some times, it can be very fine, others it can be very broad. Arthur Miller, a playwright, brings this line that we dare dread on to the surface. Based on a true historical event, Miller created The Crucible. The Crucible allows the audience to see the private aspects of the character’s lives, along with the public aspects of their lives. The character that we see most of in the play is John Proctor. In the beginning of the play, John Proctor is sort of a confusing character to decipher. It is obvious that he is hiding something, but we aren’t completely aware of what it is until the next act. Miller gives us a glimpse in John’s past for only a couple of lines. In that glimpse, the audience catches a draft of many different emotions. There is a hint of lust and hatred, overpowered by embarrassment and shame. The audience gets the general idea that there is lots of tension between John and the antagonist, Abigail. There is obviously some deep dark secret that the both of them are keeping. With John’s secret, Miller introduces the realm of the individual. As John is reminded of his darkest moment, so is the audience. Miller provides the basis for the battle between the individual and society. Society’s most important material is the individual. Without individuals, there would be no society. However, society can also be an individual’s worse enemy. Being an individual is truly just being you. You are entitled to your own opinions. You do have a say in the outcome of your toil and your life. God gave us free will, and that makes everyone and individual. The ability to make choices is the most important gift that we will ever be blessed with. As an individual, you choose to live your life the way you want to. Do you want to live in a big house? Or do you want to live in a small house? Which dress do you want, blue, or green? It doesn’t matter what others think, it’s your decision, your life. As we develop as an individual, we become much more aware of society. Society is a pushy thing. Society forces its ideals and opinions onto the individual, without any regard for their personal interests. Thus we begin to become self-conscious. We lose our self esteem, and we are down trodden by the constant pressure. Society forces Moral and ethical codes upon us. They are enforced by the people you associate yourself with, and by your family too. Even though the laws that govern us aren’t moral or ethical codes, they provide a strict outline for behavior and attitudes. The outline that society has given us doesn’t stop