Explain your thoughts about the themes of The Crucible.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The very nature of this question is going to be subjective.  I think that you should be ready for differing answers here.  I do like the themes that come out of Miller's drama.  I think that he constructs a thematic understanding that is quite relevant in the modern setting and speaks to the condition in which individuals could find themselves.  The idea of redemption of one's name is a powerful element in the drama.  Abigail does not care about this, and this is evident in her starting all of the accusatory drama and then running away from it in the end.  Proctor recognizes the need to be better than what is around him.  Proctor's recantation of his "confession" and his closing speech about "his name" is a powerful one.  It helps to bring to light that individuals do have the capacity and even the moral and ethical responsibility to construct the world as it should be as opposed to how it is.  I find this to be a compelling theme.  When Elizabeth speaks of "goodness," it is a notion that exists in the world, but must be claimed by the individual.  She and John have done this at the end of the drama.  While others around them have not been able to claim this, they have and through their example, Miller stresses that we, as readers, can transform the world as it should be as opposed to how it is.  I find this theme to be compelling and powerful.

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