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As well as FEAR being a major cause of conflict in "The Crucible", what other factors...

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boycee | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted May 31, 2009 at 12:55 PM via web

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As well as FEAR being a major cause of conflict in "The Crucible", what other factors could cause conflict?

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ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 31, 2009 at 1:48 PM (Answer #1)

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Several other important factors were at the center of the conflict in "The Crucible." First of all, GREED played an important part, especially in the actions between Thomas Putnam. Giles Corey, an ultimate victim of the witchcraft hyteria, accused Putnam of taking advantage of those accused of witchcraft by trying to obtain their land. In addition, the THIRST FOR POWER played an important part in the trials. As the trials progress, Abigail and the other girls see their power to disrupt  and change lives simply by accusation. In addition, Judge Danforth seems more concerned with the reputation of the court rather than finding the truth. When Proctor finally admits under duress that he was in league with the devil, Danforth insists Proctor sign a paper admitting his guilt that will be displayed in public. His insistence at further demeaning Proctor in order to show the power and righteousness of the court costs Proctor his life. Finally, simply NAIVETE  brings many people down. Rebecca Nurse, who naively believes that the truth will come out on its own once the girls tire of their games, is brought down by the girls accusations. Giles Corey innocently mentions his wife likes to read books and both husband and wife eventually fall victim to the witchcraft hysteria. All of these factors mixed together to cause the major conflicts in the play.

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melllyn | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted August 29, 2009 at 2:58 PM (Answer #2)

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In addition to the motivations described by Ms. McGregor, LUST is also a powerful force that contributes to the conflict in the play.  Not only does Abigail lust after Proctor, but the initial conflict involving the girls being caught dancing in the woods stemmed from their desire to have love potions made.

VENGEANCE is another contributing cause of the conflict in Salem.  After years of petty squabbles (see the scene in Act I with Corey Giles when he talks about the many lawsuits in the town), the townfolks have harbored grudges against their neighbors that come racing to the surface as soon as the opportunity arises to have some "justice".  Further, Abigail seeks vengeance against Elizabeth for "ruining Abigail's reputation", for keeping her from John, and for turning John away from Abigail.

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