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How does hypocrisy relate to The Crucible?

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marco7122 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted December 18, 2011 at 4:20 AM via web

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How does hypocrisy relate to The Crucible?

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missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 18, 2011 at 4:41 AM (Answer #1)

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The Puritans in The Crucible are complete hypocrites. Tenants of the Christian faith to which the Puritans prescribed suggest that love, forgivess, and compassion should be normal habits of daily living. Judgment, deceit, and cheating were all habits they should have abhorred. However, judgment ran rampant among Rev. Parris, the Putnams, the magistrates, and the Proctors. The girls were manipulated into deceiving the entire community that good, righteous people were actually bewitched or possessed. Abigail Williams lied at just about every turn, and she coerced the girls to join her.

Elizabeth failed to forgive her husband for his adulterous affair for the majority of the drama, and compassion was never bestowed on even the most innocent characters.

The most blatant hypocrite comes in the form of Reverend Parris, the town's minister. Although he should be a beacon of light and grace, Parris preaches about hell and barely mentions the forgiveness of God. In fact, he is a symbol of the fire and brimstone messengers that represent the era of the Puritan minister. Throughout the 3rd and 4th acts, Rev. Parris looks for ways to help accuse the innocent and land them in jail. A pastor or minister should not look for sin in order to punish it, but in order to help redeem it.

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kelly211 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted December 18, 2011 at 2:53 PM (Answer #2)

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Yes, yes, to everything above.  Please, however, do not forget that the play itself was written to allegorically highlight all of the gross hypocrisies of McCarthyism by way of the gross hypocrisies of the Salem Witch Trials.  In its very existence, the play is there to highlight HYPOCRISY. Arthur Miller was, of course, targeted shortly after his play was published.  Because, god forbid, any artist should shine a light, set a stage, make a statement against the wrong doings of a government.

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