Themes in the Crucible Essay

Submitted By rshweky344
Words: 1719
Pages: 7

Arthur Miller, writer of The Crucible, uses this book to voice his opinion on McCarthyism. The bizarre Salem Witch Trials is a near duplicate of what happened two and a half centuries later when communist believers were condemned of treason even if their opinions were nothing more than thoughts. Some of the same motives were used in both American tragedies. There are many reasons for why people were accused of witchcraft in 1692, and Miller uses some of them to clarify how such silly but fatal accusations were able to occur. In doing that, he compares both occurrences and shows that no matter what time period we’re in, these things can happen. The Crucible uses many themes throughout the whole play to enlighten readers how such a disaster could have occurred. These themes are based on the accusers’ motives, the sanity and morality of the people of Salem, and the idea witchcraft itself. There are two themes, however, that stand out among the others, and they are greed and the supernatural. These two themes helped Miller propel this play to success.
The whole concept of greed is summarized by the band, Train. In the song “Calling all Angels,” Pat Monahan, the lead singer, epitomizes this idea by saying that we live “in a world where what we want is only want we want until it’s ours.” What might have just sounded like a song lyric that fit well to Monahan, this sentence has a much profounder meaning that solves a big problem in this world. Our world comprises of three kinds of people – the poor, the middle class, and the rich. When looking at the three of them on a piece of paper, they seem to be completely different people. While not all of that is wrong, there is one major similarity that groups them together – they’re all unsatisfied with the amount of money they have and they’re all irrational about it on their own levels. The poor man, even if being a little more reasonable than the others, is still at fault of greed. He envies the rich man, yet what he doesn’t know is how similar he and the rich man think. He works countless hours every day of his life just so he can put food on the table for his family. He’s miserable and doesn’t understand what he did to deserve such a fate. He prays to whatever god or supernatural being he believes in, pours his soul out, and one day he’s blessed with more money he’s ever seen at once, even if it’s still an insignificant amount. He’s grateful for a few minutes and thanks his god but almost instantly he becomes annoyed and complains. He wants more and is unhappy by what he got, and if he finally gets what he previously wanted, he will be happy for a few minutes before turning ungrateful once again. This cycle is never-ending and this man will never truly be happy. He continues to get more money until he’s upgraded to the middle class and finally the elite. At his wealthy stage, he forgets he was ever poor and never shows gratitude for the fortune he was given. No amount of money, not even all the money in the world will ever satisfy him.
There are many people in The Crucible who all fit into these three groups, and no matter where they belong, they all have that same greedy nature. Giles Corey accuses Thomas Putnam of sentencing George Jacobs to be hanged: “If Jacobs hangs for a witch he forfeit up his property...and there is none but Putnam with the coin to buy so great a piece. This man is killing his neighbors for their land! (Act Three)” Greed obliterates a man’s common sense. So while the fact that greed can lead to murder may seem farfetched, in reality it’s quite easy to believe. Putnam, according to Corey, is using greed as a reason to accuse people of witchcraft. He wants the money so badly, he works up the claim that Jacobs is a witch. Even though, as stated by Corey, Putnam is rich, he’s still not satisfied with the amount of property he has. In those times, property was the equivalent of money. Reverend Samuel Parris displayed a lot of greedy feelings throughout the whole…