11 English AE, Period 1
14 October 2014
The Fuel to the Fire
It is stated in the Bible that god damns all liars. So in colonial Salem, Massachusetts, he damned the entire town. In the playwright, The Crucible by Arthur Miller, hysteria has swarmed the small, Puritan town of Salem. This hysteria was caused by such a blasphemous rumor of witch trials. Miller portrayed the trials using historical characters to illustrate the tension throughout the town. In Arthur Miller’s, The Crucible, grudges and personal rivalries lay the foundation of the hysteria of witches, which led to the meaningless conflicts that ultimately led to plentiful deaths among the village. Miller used grudges and personal rivalries as the fuel that kept the Salem Witch trials burning. From the beginning, Abigail Williams had an obsession with John Proctor. Her jealousy of his wife, Elizabeth Proctor, led to the insane idea that Elizabeth was possessed by the devil. By now, John made it clear to Abigail that, “I will cut off my hand before I reach for you again” and emphasized to her that they “never touched” (Miller 1246). However, Elizabeth was still disappointed that John committed adultery against her, but his sincerity grew greater for Elizabeth so she could trust him again. Abigail’s personal rivalry against Elizabeth led to a meaningless conflict between the two as well as a sense of infidelity between Proctor and Elizabeth. John Proctor was eventually accused of being a witch instead of Elizabeth when he screams, “I say-I say God is dead!”(Miller 1315). Through all the trouble of trying to send Elizabeth to hang, Abigail’s plan utterly failed and backfired upon her. This unintelligible conflict between Abigail and Elizabeth led to the death of their lover, John Proctor. By the conclusion, their conviction for each other was unpredictable. This gave a tragic, yet astounding emphasis on John Proctor’s futile death.
John Proctor has a rivalry with Reverend Parris through the church preaching’s by Parris. Proctor does not believe that Parris should be a man of authority in the church. Parris then states that Proctor did not attend the church on Sabbath, so Proctor responded with a crafty response saying, “I have trouble enough without I come five mile to hear him preach only hell fire and bloody damnation.” He also exclaims that “There are many others who stay away from church these days because you hardly ever mention God anymore” (Miller 1284). Proctor goes on about how Parris is not a holy man and how he only thinks about his reputation. This grudge between them went absolutely no where because John Proctor was accused of witchcraft now. This proves the point that grudges will lead to nothing but meaningless consequences. Proctor also criticized Parris exclaiming, “…the last meeting I were at, you spoke so long on deeds and mortgages, I thought it was an auction” (Miller 1284). Proctor believes that Parris can care less about God and more about how much money he makes and what is needed for him. Later, these minor conflicts led to major punishment with Proctor being hung because of being falsely accused.
Throughout the play it is apparent that Reverend Parris believes the town of Salem is against him. Parris found a knife thrust into his front door in the middle of the night, which