In the beginning of "The Crucible", what were a few reasons that the Puritans failed to convert the Indians?

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gmuss25 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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As was mentioned in the previous post, Miller writes that one reason that kept the Puritans from converting the Indians was "parochial snobbery." The Puritans believed that they were the children of God and viewed the Indians as uncivilized heathens. In their minds, the Puritans felt that the Indians were beneath them and were not worth converting. Miller also mentions that the Puritans preferred to take the land from the Indians rather than purchase it from fellow Christians. The Puritans also believed that the "virgin forest" where the Indians lived was the Devil's domain. They felt threatened by the unknown and preferred to remain secluded in their small towns surrounded by fellow Christians. The Puritans' prideful attitudes, greed, and narrow perspective prevented them from converting any of the Indians in New England. 

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

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At the beginning of "The Crucible", Miller says it was their “parochial snobbery” that prevented the Puritans from converting the Indians. Their goal was to keep the community together and to prevent any kind of disunity that might open it to destruction by material or ideological enemies. Thus, the different beliefs of the Indians were a challenge to their unity. That, combined with Puritan idea that their beliefs were superior to any others, created an attitude of superiority that would put off any people---Indian or otherwise. Thus, the Indians were known as heathens who were enemies to be destroyed, not people to be converted to belief in grace and love for one's neighbor.

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